Perspectives: Shay’s Rebellion, First Civil War In US – World Business Academy

Sometimes referred to as “America’s first civil war” it is extremely important for us to understand today. It was the first time a group of citizens chose to violently attack courthouses and a state capitol to overthrow that state’s rightful authority rather than seek to address their grievances through constitutional means.

The rebellion ended in February 1787, when 1,500 men unsuccessfully attacked the Federal arsenal in Springfield with an intent to seize the weapons and overthrow the government. They were repulsed by 1,200 men from the state militia (their version of the National Guard) who were able to hold them off and secure the arsenal. Sounds quite a lot like the direct lineal ancestor of January 6th, doesn’t it? That’s because it was.

In a contemporaneous account of what transpired on August 29th, Massachusetts Governor James Bowdoin reported “A large concourse of people, from several parts of that county, assembled at the courthouse…many of whom were armed with guns, swords, and other deadly weapons, and with drums beating and fifes playing, in contempt and open defiance of the authority of this Government, did, by their threats of violence and keeping possession of the courthouse until twelve o’clock on the night of the same day.”

Perspectives: Shay’s Rebellion – World Business Academy