Cover image for Shay's Rebellion : the American Revolution's final battle
Shay's Rebellion : the American Revolution's final battle
Richards, Leonard L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 204 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F69 .R63 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nonfiction Notes Washington & Co. American history books have long insisted that Shay's Rebellion (1786-1787) the Massachusetts insurrection that pulled George Washington out of retirement and ultimately sped the revision and ratification of the Constitution was an uprising of poor, indebted farmers. University of Massachusetts Amherst history professor Leonard L. Richards begs to differ. In his Shay's Rebellion: The American Revolution's Final Battle, Richards investigates the identities of the rebels and argues that they were generally not poor at all, and that scholars have misunderstood the causes of this pivotal revolt. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Shay's Rebellion, passed off as an uprising that pitted indebted rural farmers against money-grabbing creditors, is given short shrift in US history. Richards (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) challenges this simplistic thesis by doing an in-depth study of the participants, using a list of 4,000 names that is reposited in the Massachusetts Archives. Aided by local historians and librarians, Richards was able to develop a fuller picture of who the participants were. He found that most did not take up arms because they were debtors. Many who sat on the sidelines, he maintains, were in worse financial conditions. It is the author's thesis that these men were in the mold of the "Regulators" and had taken up arms because they viewed the newly created state government as a tyrannical government in the hands of the aristocracy, who would use it to enrich itself and its followers. Richards's thesis needs to be carefully considered. His research technique would be useful in a history research and writing class. Recommended for all library collections at every level. J. J. Fox Jr. emeritus, Salem State College