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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Road to the Constitution: Shays' Rebellion

For those who subscribe to the cyclical philosophy of history, history has a way of repeating itself, and that was true in the events leading up the Shays' Rebellion.

After the American Revolution, the states found themselves in an economic depression (much like Great Britain after the French and Indian War) and the states began to aggressively tax and collect the debts of those living in the states. After fighting a war to end the tyrannical rule of Britain and to end their aggressive taxes, the new nation found themselves in need of money to pay off their war debts, and needed to tax the citizens. However, there was a lack of hard currency in the new nation, which proved to be very problematic, especially in Massachusetts.

In the new nation, especially in non-coastal merchant-run towns, many of the citizens were farmers and suffered from debt as they tried to start new farms after the wake of the Revolution. Unlike many other state legislatures, Massachusetts did not respond to…

The Road to the Constitution: The Articles of Confederation

After the American Revolution, the new nation was in need of a form of government. Fearful that a strong central government would become as tyrannical as Great Britain had been, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation on November 15, 1777 (but it is important to note that the ratification of the Articles by all 13 states did not occur until March 1, 1781).

The Articles of Confederation created strong state governments with the states having numerous powers and a weak central government with limited powers.

The need for a strong federal government was made apparent after a series of events, which will later be described, and eventually led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. On March 4, 1789, the present United States Constitution replaced the failed Articles of Confederation.