Login
Copyright

Weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and Shays Rebellion

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Constitutional Convention: The Great Compromise

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 Articles of Confederation
  • 0:27 Growing Debt
  • 1:48 Shays' Rebellion
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clint Hughes

Clint has taught History, Government, Speech Communications, and Drama. He has his master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

The Articles of Confederation were too weak to create an effective government for the new nation. In this lesson, discover how Shays' Rebellion proved that the national government needed to strengthen.

The Articles of Confederation

America's first founding document, which went into effect in the 1780s, had no power to tax, could not enforce laws and could not maintain a standing army. Under the articles, all power rested with the states, so the national government had no authority to accomplish anything.

Growing National Debt

A large monetary debt was owed to Spain and France after the war.
Debt to Spain France

During the Revolution, men were off fighting for the new nation. Many of them had to take out loans to keep their farms going in their absence. After the war, the creditors wanted their money. Sometimes the states backed the debtors and ordered the creditors to forgive the debts. But, sometimes they backed the creditors and the peoples' farms - their homes - were foreclosed. Many men were put in debtor prison until family members could come up with the money to get them out.

The new nation was in a horrible crisis with inflation. The war had been financed by loans from Spain and France. The money had to be repaid, but because of the Revolution, a lot of business was lost from the former colonies. Trade with the British West Indies was gone. The new government asked the states for more money, but they said no.

The answer was to print more money, but of course, that never works. It made the money less and less valuable. So now the people had fistfuls of worthless money. So now you have all of these farmers, who had fought in the Revolution, unable to keep their farms. Now they cannot feed their family and they have no property, which at that time meant in most states they could not vote.

Shays' Rebellion

Daniel Shays led the rebellion against farm foreclosures.
Daniel Shays Picture

As this was happening, people turned to the leaders they had in the war. One of these leaders was Daniel Shays of Massachusetts. Daniel Shays and the other farmers pick up their guns and go to the state courthouse to stop them from foreclosing on their homes, and it worked.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support