Lead: In the middle of the 1780s farmers on the frontier of New England struck out at merchants seeking to collect debts. This was Shays' Rebellion.
Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.
Content: Faced with mounting debt to London merchants in the years following the American Revolution and squeezed out of lucrative markets in the West Indies by the British government, coastal merchants in New England called in their loans to farmers on the frontier. When the farmers could not pay up the merchants went into court to take their land. The reaction of the farmers was peaceful protest when then turned to armed resistance and then open rebellion. The protesters called themselves Regulators but the movement came to known as Shays' Rebellion. Its namesake was Daniel Shays, a former Continental Army officer and farmer from Pelham, Massachusetts who had been arrested twice in 1784 for petty debt. He was just one of many leaders of a highly decentralized movement.

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