What did Shays' Rebellion have to do with the United States abandoning the confederation form of government? 

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The federal government created by the Articles of Confederation was a weak one. This was done because many people were afraid that a strong federal government would be too powerful and may abuse the powers it had. However, by creating a weak federal government, problems arose.

One problem the federal government faced was financial. Because the federal government couldn’t tax, it had a hard time paying its debts. Another issue was that other countries were pushing us around. There wasn’t much we could do about this because the federal government couldn’t force people to join the military. Our military was in no position to fight Spain or Great Britain over their interference with our trade.

A third issue was that the federal government couldn’t keep order. When farmers in Massachusetts rebelled because they were losing their farms when they couldn’t pay their mortgages, the federal government did nothing to end the uprising, which was known as Shays' Rebellion. The state militia had to step in and end the conflict. The lack of action on the part of the federal government during this crisis, along with the other issues that existed, convinced many people that a new plan of government was needed. The new plan gave more power to the federal government.

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