Shays' Rebellion (1786-87) and the Constitution
Links to unique historical documents can now be found at the Springfield Armory web site.
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The Springfield Armory, including a Museum, is a National Historic Site. The Armory's predecessor was the Springfield Arsenal building, the site of the climax of Shays' Rebellion.
Start by reading a research paper in which the Springfield Armory's historian, Richard Colton, retraces Shays' march on the Arsenal (January 25, 1787) based on the first-hand accounts of participants. Click here to download the essay, titled "Unwilling to Stain the Land": Conflict and Ambivalence in Shays' Rebellion.
- Using primary source material, the author shows that Shays never ordered his column to form a battle line until it was too late, and discusses "why Shays and his force did not mount a sustained attack."
Then click here to access an online collection of 100 documents from Shays' Rebellion.
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More about the Video
CURRICULUM BUILDER Shays' Rebellion and the Constitution -- Teacher's Guide
Updated Sept 1 2009