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Search > Learning Exercise Results > Shays' Rebellion and the Making of a Nation

Learning Exercise: Shays' Rebellion and the Making of a Nation

Shays' Rebellion and the Making of a Nation
Shays' Rebellion in 1787 was a watershed in United States History recognizing the need for a stronger national government for the new Republic to survive. Much controversey surrounds the events leading to Shays' Rebellion, whether or not it was a rebellion, and its impact on the United States' future. This site provides the historical content and context to evaluate the challenging events in Western Massachusetts during 1787.


Submitted by:
William Paquette
Date Last Modified:
May 29, 2009


Instructions: Play "From Revoution to Constitution." Under Historic scenes READ: War's End and Promises of the American Revolution, Boom and Bust, Petition and Protest, Bloody Encounter, Taking the Oath, Making a Nation, and Epilogue. Each of these seven topics has three parts. Read the three parts of each one of the seven Historic Scenes. Under Artifacts and Documents, Diaries and Correspondence READ: David Hoyt to his father, Excerpts from the Journal of Park Holland, George Washington to Benjamin Lincoln, Henry Knox to Jeremiah Wadsworth, Hungtington to Bowsoin, Jonathan Judd,Jr. Diary Entry, William Shephard to James Boudin, and William Shephard to James Hancock. Write a 5-6 page paper: 1)Describe the background to Shays' Rebellion, 2) Explain the role of Daniel Shays in the events of 1786-1787, 3) Describe the events known as Shays' Rebellion, and 4) Evaluate the significance of Shays' Rebellion on the American Republic.



  • College General Ed
  • College Lower Division
  • High School


United States History The Early Republic



Learning Objectives

To acquaint students with accurate details concerning a critical event in the history of the Early Republic. To acquaint students with primary source documents.

Type of Task

  • Individual
  • Student-centered
  • Supplemental Activity
  • Unsupervised



Technical Notes