2017-08-09 : Shays' Rebellion

Here's another quick transplant from Twitter. Meg and I went to Hiftory Camp and...

Friends, I learned such timely and relevant things today about Shays' Rebellion! Here's the shortest possible summary.

1) Revolutionary soldiers were paid in "continentals," paper currency issued for the purpose.

2) Continentals devalued rapidly and almost completely, and speculators bought them for pennies on the pound.

3) One such speculator was James Bowdoin, later to be governor of Massachusetts. He and 2 friends bought up 40% of the continentals in MA.

4) As governor, he enacted legislation to redeem continentals at face value. To pay for them, he raised taxes to six times what they'd been.

5) The farmers who now had to pay 6x their taxes to pay for his continentals? Many of them were the same veterans he'd bought them from!

Isn't that amazing?

The outcome was armed rebellion, and who can wonder. The kickoff action was to shut down the county courthouse in Northampton and free the prisoners from debtors' jail.

Sam Adams wrote of Shays' Rebellion, "in monarchy, the crime of treason may admit of being pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death." Sam Adams can stuff it up his nose.

1. On 2017-08-09, Vincent said:

The story we usually hear around here is, "veterans were impatient for their promised bonuses and farmers didn't want to pay their taxes." It doesn't really capture it.


2. On 2017-08-09, Weeks said:

That's pretty cool!


3. On 2017-08-09, Paul T. said:


There are quite a few lessons in there...


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