You know “Shays' Rebellion” as the time where ‘farmers who were angry about taxes’ ‘created unrest’ that exposed the weakness of the Articles of Confederation, causing the Founding Fathers to write the Constitution.
Daniel Shays’s Honorable Rebellion tells the story from the people’s perspective, showing that Shays and thousands of farmers were not trying to overthrow the government. They were protesting flagrantly unjust economic policies that were forcing them off their land, all to pay windfall profits to financiers. Drawing on extensive research Daniel Shays’s Honorable Rebellion tells the story of the challenges the people faced, in keeping the peace through five months of protests and escalating government threats before they ultimately won reforms in an electoral landslide.
Thomas Jefferson called these protests an honorable rebellion, and hoped that Americans would never let twenty years pass without such a campaign, to rein in powerful interests. This riveting and meticulously researched narrative shows that Shays and his fellow protesters were hardly a dangerous rabble, but rather a proud people who banded together peaceably, risking their lives for justice in a quintessentially American story.
Praise for Daniel Shays's Honorable Rebellion
“Bullen has crafted an accurate, comprehensive, and carefully researched account of the individuals, their situation, and their actions. Readers can learn much about a pivotal event in national development.”—Journal of America’s Military Past
“In this gripping and scrupulously accurate narrative, Bullen makes a persuasive case that the Regulators actually showed remarkable patriotism, economic acumen, and even restraint.”—Woody Holton, author of Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution
“Daniel Bullen takes the insurgents seriously: who were these fellows, and what was the cause of their complaints? By exploring them individually and collectively, Bullen discovers a coherent social movement, rooted in a historical tradition. Bullen’s vivid prose makes history come alive. We feel the farmers’ pain. We understand why they protested inequities, much as people do today.”—Ray Raphael, author of A People’s History of the American Revolution
“Bullen’s emphasis on the nonviolent intent and nature of the protests is a refreshing approach. Equally refreshing is the modern-day relevance, which shows similarities between 1780s Massachusetts and modern America. Bullen has a knack for bringing things to life, and putting the reader in the thick of the story. He is very good at explaining complex issues (especially of a financial nature). This book will certainly remove Shays’s protests from the shadows of American history.”—Keith Krawczynski, Distinguished Research and Teaching Professor, Honors Professor of History, Auburn University at Montgomery
“With deft insight, meticulous research, and beautifully rendered language, Bullen gives authenticity to this riveting and little-known historical movement, when ordinary citizens banded together to help right an injustice. This is an important story for our time.”—Rilla Askew, PEN/Faulkner-nominated author of Fire in Beulah