Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle

Narrated by: William Dupuy
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: History, American
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

During the bitter winter of 1786-87, Daniel Shays, a modest farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, and his compatriot Luke Day led an unsuccessful armed rebellion against the state of Massachusetts. Their desperate struggle was fueled by the injustice of a regressive tax system and a conservative state government that seemed no better than British colonial rule. But despite the immediate failure of this local call-to-arms in the Massachusetts countryside, the event fundamentally altered the course of American history. Shays and his army of 4,000 rebels so shocked the young nation's governing elite - even drawing the retired General George Washington back into the service of his country - that ultimately the Articles of Confederation were discarded in favor of a new constitution, the very document that has guided the nation for more than 200 years, and brought closure to the American Revolution.

The importance of Shays's Rebellion has never been fully appreciated, chiefly because Shays and his followers have always been viewed as a small group of poor farmers and debtors protesting local civil authority. In Shays's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle, Leonard Richards reveals that this perception is misleading, that the rebellion was much more widespread than previously thought, and that the participants and their supporters actually represented whole communities - the wealthy and the poor, the influential and the weak, even members of some of the best Massachusetts families.

The book is published by University of Pennsylvania Press.

©2002 Leonard L. Richards (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A carefully argued and spiritedly told account." ( Boston Globe)
"Serves a valuable purpose by fleshing out a crucial period when the fate of the American democratic experiment hung in the balance." ( American History)
"Recommended for all library collections at every level." ( Choice)

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Good info

The book contained good information and I captured the details I was looking for. The topic seemed to jump around a bit too much, so this book requires the listener to be attentive.
There's more to the book than simply the rebellion, as the author details how the rebellion actually helped rid us of the Articles of Confederation.

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One of the seminal events in American History

If you're interested in formative events in American History, Shays's Rebellion is *THE* event that the mercantilists and the American Gentry used as an excuse to toss the Articles of Confederation in favor of the "energy" of The Constitution. Not 11 years after the American Revolution, another tax revolt by western Massachusetts, backcountry farmers put the Boston elite in a tizzy.

After reading this, there can be no illusions about the Federalist's aims. There was no desire to "modify" the Articles other than to toss them in the trash so that the colonial aristocrats could secure their interests.

Leonard Richards's work is very well done. It first starts out by telling the story of the rebellion in order to bring out the facts, misconceptions and political spin used to mitigate the impacts into the dustbin of history. It then switches gears to describe the main actors involved and their reasons for using the rebellion as a catalyst for the convention.

This story is ultimately about the consequences of debt and taxation without representation. It is the seminal event behind where our country is headed today: The DC elite vs. flyover country and the deplorables. You'll never see George Washington, Samuel Adams, nor Alexander Hamilton in the same light again.

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brilliant historical analysis

a brilliant historical analysis of events that receive scant attention. how events shaped U.S. Constitution