What national event in 1786 brought to America's attention the need for a stronger central government?

2 Answers
Jan 10, 2017

Shay's Rebellion


The poor rural farmers were losing their land due to court actions. The farmers could not pay their debts because of a shortage of "hard currency" and so lost their land.

The farmers lead by Daniel Shay took up arms to oppose the actions of the courts. The armed rebels forcibly shut down the courts refusing to allow the courts to met. There was a legitimate fear that the rebels would try to capture an armory adding to their arsenal.

There was little hard currency because the central government did not have the authority to print or mint money.

Also the central government did not have the money or authority to have a standing army, but had to rely on the militias of the states. In Mass. when the militia was called out to suppress Shay's rebellion the militia refused to take action against the rebels.

Shay's Rebellion scared the nation. The Articles of Confederation created a weak central government that was unable to effectively with the Rebellion. The fear was rebellions like these would spread and destroy the new nation.

Shay's Rebellion created the desire for a stronger central or federal government.

Jan 10, 2017

Shay's Rebellion brought to America's attention the need for a stronger central government.


Under the Articles of Confederation, there was an immense amount of state power yet very little federal or national power. Shay's Rebellion (named after their leader Daniel Shays of Massachusetts) was the name given to the group of rebellions taking place from 1786 to 1787. American farmers were against the sate and local enforcement of tax collectors and the judgments they were receiving for their debt.

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(Shay's Rebellion)

The thing that is significant about Shay's rebellion was that it demonstrated to everyone how weak and how little power the federal government had because it took them about one year
to stop the rebellion. This was a serious problem because it would take a lot of time for the government to stop problems. (Imagine it taking over a year or two to stop people rioting by city hall. That's how bad it was.)

After Shay's rebellion, people saw that it was time to give the federal government a little more power and to create a system of "checks and balances" between powers. By drafting the Constitution in 1787 and ratifying it in the June of 1788, a more stable and more centralized system of government was formed that still stands today.

Hope this helps!