Lead: Shays' Rebellion an insurrection of farmers on the frontier of Massachusetts in 1786 helped pave the way for the Constitution of the United States.
Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts.
Content: In the years following the Revolution, the national government under the Articles of Confederation might best be described as weak and ineffective. Funds to support the national government could only be raised by assessment and if a state did not want to contribute, it did not have to. The Confederation could settle disputes between the states but only by negotiation not force. National leaders such as Alexander Hamilton recognized this fact and were pressing for a more powerful central government. In August 1786 a convention was held in Annapolis, Maryland which studied the question but because only five states attended, it broke up in failure. One of its last acts was to recommend another meeting in Philadelphia the following spring.

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