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4) Shay's Rebellion

Shays’ Rebellion
Name: ___________________________________________
In Massachusetts, an economic crisis led the state government to raise taxes and increase its
efforts to collect its debts. It foreclosed on farms (took back ownership) and sent debtors to
prison. Many of these struggling farmers had fought as soldiers in the Revolution. Poor farmers
protested. Demonstrators shutdowns courts trying to collect taxes and debts. They demanded that
Massachusetts print cheap paper money, as nearby Rhode Island had done. This would have raised
prices and made the farmers’ debts easier to repay.
Daniel Shays, a Massachusetts farmer, had served as a captain during the American Revolution.
Shays led a group of angry farmers and debtors who attacked one of the state’s courthouses. They
demanded freedom for debtors, cheap paper money, and lower taxes. Shays’ Rebellion created a
wave of fear among wealthy landowners and merchants across the country. There was no national
army to put down the rebellion if Massachusetts had been unable to stop its spread.
1. What were three problems listed in the reading? (You must give the paragraph number where
you found your answers.)
2. What were the demands of the demonstrators in Shays’ Rebellion?
3. Which weakness of the Articles of Confederation was highlighted during Shays’ Rebellion?
Causes of Shays’ Rebellion
Effects of Shay’s Rebellion
Fill in the chart from the pages in the textbook.
Virginia Plan
How many branches of
How was the legislature
Which states did this plan
favor? Why?
New Jersey Plan