Essay on Change in American History

Submitted By JVennard
Words: 1014
Pages: 5

“Change” in American History 1607-1877

Change is an important part of life, without change, we may not be here or certain aspects of our life would be significantly different. Change has been a crucial part of history and will continue to be a crucial part of the future. There are three major aspects of change that I am going to talk about. They are: The Declaration of Independence, Shays’ Rebellion, and the trial of Marbury vs. Madison. Not only were these three topics important aspects of change, but in these examples, each of them significantly paved the way for future change and how things would be difference after each event. Typically in history, a major event or some aspect of change is what gives way to other significant events. We all know, or should, what the Declaration of Independence is and how it significantly changed the history of America? So what exactly was it? The Declaration of Independence is a document that basically declares our independence from England and completely severs ties in that respect. The “idea” or concept of the document was originally expressed on June 7, 1776 by Richard Henry. At an Independence Hall in Philadelphia, he expressed that the United States ought to be completely free of England’s influence, and that all political ties between the two countries should be dissolved. Congress in fact agreed and began plans to publish a formal declaration of independence. A major part of the document stated that bodies of people have the right to change governments if that government becomes unfair and controlling. In addition, governments fail when they no longer have the support or consent of the people being governed. What did this actually accomplish? The document did exactly as its’ name suggests, it declared us Independent of Great Britain, it made as an independent nation of free willed citizens who are capable of choosing and forming their own government. Without this significant change in history, there is no telling where we would be today. It is possible that we could still be considered a part of England, but chances are that even if this document had not been drafted, further conflict and change would have led to something similar. Shays’ Rebellion was a different kind of change, one in which resulting in physical conflict in the form of fighting as “rebellion” might suggest. Shays Rebellion occurred during what was known as the post-Revolutionary United States. During this time there was an economic crisis happening where many were poor and could not pay for their farms or other debts they may have. In this example, Massachusetts government did not try to respond to the crisis by passing any type of debt forgiving laws; instead, they seized many farms and put farmers in jail that could not pay their debts. This is what led to the first major armed rebellion during this time. When Americans were not satisfied with taxes, or the ways the government was handling situations, the only way to bring about change, was to challenge it. This meant by launching some sort of campaign, whether political, or in this case, armed and physical. It was Daniel Shays, a former captain in the Continental Army, who came to lead this rebellion. He led special meetings of the people to protest conditions and agree on a coordinated protest. Rebels would force courts to close and eventually liberated imprisoned debtors from jail. Shays’ Rebellion was an example of the most extreme case of what can happen in the tough times that were brought on by the economic crisis. What this rebellion led to was the passing of such laws that allowed for debtors to pay what they owe without being punished or incarcerated. Think about it, where would we be today if it wasn’t for this change? Would credit cards exist? If they did, would we even want to own one for fear of what would happen should we not be able to pay our debt? What about home