Social Upheaval

There were many events which highlighted social unrest during and after the Revolutionary War. These events involved mutinies in the Continental Army and general dissatisfaction from the American public. In 1780 there was mutiny in the Continental Army where hundreds of men demand rations and payment of salary that was five months overdue. In 1781 there were mutinies in the Continental Army as Pennsylvanian soldiers refused to take orders from anyone but their own state assembly. In 1783 the Newburgh Conspiracy occurred. An anonymous note was sent to American officers urging action against Congress over unpaid salaries. To ease tensions. Washington met with his discontented officers and delivered a passionate speech. Despite this Congress was besieged by ex-soldiers who protested about unpaid salaries. In 1786 Shay’s Rebellion occurred. This was the culmination of tensions and unrest in Massachusetts over prices, state taxes, foreclosures and debtors’ courts. Congress ordered the mobilisation of a 1400-man militia to protect the federal arsenal in Springfield, Massachusetts. Lastly, in 1786 a mob in New Hampshire marched on the state assembly and demanded that it order a new issue of paper money.

The Constitution created a strong central government which could raise money effectively to pay debts. Also had the national army to oppose insurrection from violent and rebellious groups The Federal Government could make these decisions because power over armed forces rested in the executive power, the President, yet is kept from supreme military power by Congress who have power to declare war.