What historical events led national leaders to call for a “revision” of the Articles of Confederation?
The scene of a group of angry farmers with pitchforks toppling a government seems far fetched and would make a great Hollywood film, but could it happen in real life? It can, and did, happen in 1786. On August 21st of that year, a group of farmers, led by Daniel Shays, attempted an insurrection against the government of Massachusetts. Their list of grievances was long, but they were basically fed up with the ineptitude of their state government. The twelve hundred farmers that marched on the federal arsenal at Springfield were tortured with debt and heavy taxation. They wondered aloud why they just finished fighting a war over taxation only to be burdened with taxes by a different authority. The Shay's Rebellion, as it is called, demonstrated to many national leaders that the Articles of Confederation was hurting the political and economic development of the United States. The major reason for this is because the state governments were given too much authority and the federal government had little or no clout. In most cases, these state governments proved to be ineffective at serving the needs of their people and the nation.