A Story Of Two Rebellions

Submitted By madeyefletch
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Pages: 5

PS 101 REVIEW – test #1

A Story of Two Rebellions

Captain Dan
Terrible War Experience
Common man (yeoman)
Unwilling Soldier
Worry and Loss
Personal Sacrifice
Tribulations after the War
Heavy Taxation (specie)  hard currency
Poor Representation (No taxation without…)
Land Seizure?
Captain Dan’s Response
Gathered a militia
Harassed public officials
Took over courthouses
Occupied land illegally
Held “conventions” nullifying laws
Seized weapons so the rebels could defend themselves

A Small Surprise, Perhaps?
Not the Revolutionary War against the British, although most features matched:
War vs. European Power: French & Indian
Taxes increased to pay for it: Stamp Act
Those asked to pay thought they had inadequate representation
Focused anger vs. financial interests thought to cause hardship too (Boston Tea Party)
Rebellion far from the seat of power

Legendary Leaders
Actually closer to Shays Rebellion
Here’s how some ex-rebels responded:
Sam Adams
Nathaniel Gorham
John Hancock
Legal Revolution:
Constitutional Convention
…What changed? They were afraid!

The Selfish Concern: Scared by this Leveling Spirit
Revolutionary spirit seen as going to extremes
-Serious protests by farming classes
Shays’ Rebellion (1786-1787)
-Dissent starting to slow government
Rhode Island Veto
North Carolina fight over power of judiciary
-Economic & social relations more complicated
-Wanted a strong, less-democratic nation. Examples:
A ban on taxes against wealth
Qualifications on voting
Aided by the Fact Other People were Scared too
Threats ranging on all side:
British in North
French & Native Americans to the West
Spanish to the South
Pirates and the British along the coast
Internally: interstate disputes over taxes, borders
The Articles of Confederation did not seem up to these Challenges
Government showed little ability to grapple with these threats:
No executive branch
Congress often lacked quorum
Couldn’t get unanimity on meaningful policy solutions
Financial weakness: No source of cash
International weakness: No foreign policy
Military weakness: No real army, navy

Breakdown of the 55 Framers
40 national government bondholders
24 money lenders
15 plantation owners
14 land speculators
11 merchants
27 members of Order of Cincinnatus (only military officer or descendant)
Each group had its own selfish goals in mind, too.
What the Bondholders Wanted
A government with powers of taxation that could pay them back
A legal guarantee that they would be paid back.
A government with control of coining money so that states could not print their own, so that the payback would be valuable enough.
** The Constitution provided all three.
What the Moneylenders Wanted
They did not want the states printing money either
But also, a government unresponsive to the needs of debtors in other ways:
Protecting contracts
Being far from local debtors & their demands
What the Planters Wanted
Legal protections, if not guarantees, for slavery
Funds for a military to prevent slave revolt
A government that would protect their ability to sell produce to other states
A government strong enough internationally to negotiate trade
** The Constitution included all four.
What the Speculators Wanted
Funding for a military that could crush Native Americans on their land
Protection for contracts so that their land claims could be sorted out and protected
A government that could develop the nation and so increase their land value
**The Constitution contained all three!
What the Merchants Wanted
Taxes (i.e. tariffs) on imported goods so that Americans would have to buy theirs
Interstate trade: No taxes on goods passing across state lines
**The Constitution offered both!
What the Cincinnati Wanted
A strong military that would reward the soldier class
A government with sufficient tax powers to pay their pensions
A more