Program on Shays’ Rebellion Slated
SPRINGFIELD — Join author and professor emeritus Leonard Richards for his presentation Shays’s Rebellion: March On The Springfield Armory at 2 p.m. on Jan. 21 in the museum theater. Admission is free.
Many veterans of the American Revolution were not paid for their service. At the same time, farmers, many of them veterans were hit with high taxes and faced losing their farms when they could not pay. On Jan. 25, 1787 Daniel Shays helped lead a rebellion to capture the Springfield Arsenal in protest against these injustices. “If the participants would have taken the Arsenal in Springfield, they would have been better armed than the state of Massachusetts,” shared Richards. As the anniversary approaches, discover what happened when the Regulators reached the Springfield Arsenal on that cold winter morning 230 years ago.
Leaders of government saw the citizens’ opposition as a threat to their authority. Their heavy-handed response to the protests galvanized the people, and the crisis escalated to violence in winter of 1787. The Regulators were later hunted down by a mercenary army put together by the state of Massachusetts and Boston merchants.
National leaders, including George Washington, concluded that the country was about to fall apart and needed a stronger national government. “Many people today have no idea the long-term impact Shays’ Rebellion had on Massachusetts and the nation as a whole. This revolution was the one that gave rise to modern American democracy,” said Richards.