We, the people of Massachusetts, are in an uprising. I think that this upheaval is very necessary, and I support it to the fullest. Shay’s Rebellion is a crisis that has occurred in Massachusetts that should enhance the support of the Nationalists’ cause. This rebellion is the result of excessive land taxation, high legal costs, and economic depression that came after the American Revolution. As citizens of Massachusetts and America, we must think of solutions to the problems that we are facing today.
Years have passed and the American Revolutionary War is over. True enough, the war may be over but like always where one problem ends, another begins. The merchants and wealthy people who loaned money to the states now want their money back. They are forcing the bankrupt states to pass high taxes in order to collect the money to pay off the debts. Legislators here in Massachusetts have now passed the heaviest direct tax ever. The he tax has to be paid in specie, rather than paper money. Specie is far more scarce and worth much more than paper money. The insurgents are mainly poor farmers that are being threatened with loss of their property and imprisonment for debt. The rich are not affected by this tax much. They are the beneficiaries of this tax. I feel as though everyone should be treated equally. The amount of the tax should be based on how much land you own, and the legislators should accept whatever kind of money that the taxpayers have. This is only one of the injustices that people like me are being faced with. I strongly oppose the high land taxation along with the other unfairness that we are facing.
There are certain things in life that should cost very little or nothing at all. It is ridiculous when people have to pay to protect themselves. We are living in what is supposed to be a democratic republic. Legal costs are extremely expensive. We are supposed to be free and independent. It does not seem that way when we have to pay to be treated fairly and equally. We have forced courts to close, due to rejection of our petitions and public meetings. Because we are not focused as a people, we are divided. We will never again be content if we remain economically, politically, and socially divided and depressed.
As a state, we are in economic depression. The citizens of Massachusetts have been hit with an incredible economic blow. We are in debt. No one group of people should have to deal with the consequences of the whole country’s mistakes. The whole country made the decision; therefore, the country as a whole should endure the consequences. During the war, prices were extremely high. Prices are extremely high. Inflation has reduced our ability to buy goods. The price of a bushel of corn has risen from less than a dollar to almost eighty dollars. This is bizarre and intolerable. I will not stand for it. This is a prime example of the causes and need for this rebellion.
I would personally like to thank Mr. Daniel Shays for taking the initiative to finally speak up and protest these ludicrous punishments that the citizens of Massachusetts are being faced with. We are not responsible for this war and its effects. It seems as though the legislators would like to make the impoverished states pay off their debts. It is simply inequitable and unbearable. We will not take these harsh punishments. This was the reason for cutting all of our ties with Britain. Who would think that after declaring independence from Britain, we’d have to declare independence from America. We are demanding protective legislation, the abolition of the court of common pleas, and a radical reduction of taxes. This must be done through a cooperative effort.