A group of poor farmers in Massachusetts, led by Taylor Coutts and John Sullivan, are angered by war debts, bad harvests, and high taxes. When their debt-ridden farms are taken by the bank, they march on the state capitol in protest. Massachusetts sends their militia to try to stop them and appeals to Congress for military assistance. Can the Articles of Confederation solve this problem? Why/Why not?

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Lucky for these farmers, the Articles of Confederation did not grant Congress the right to raise a military. Each state had their own militia—like the one dispatched by the state of Massachusetts in the example. However, if the power of their anger against the theft of their land by the...

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Lucky for these farmers, the Articles of Confederation did not grant Congress the right to raise a military. Each state had their own militia—like the one dispatched by the state of Massachusetts in the example. However, if the power of their anger against the theft of their land by the banks motivates them strongly enough to overcome the state militia, there's no provision in the Articles for Congress to call upon other state militias to help, and there's no provision for the federal government to hold a standing army of its own. Unfortunately for these farmers, and other people who fought against oppressive state forces, this was seen as a point of failure of the Articles of Confederation rather than a strength.

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