Life and Views of a Western Farmer

After the Revolutionary War, the United States was in a state of economic chaos.Depression and inflation were prevalent as a result of the war.Established trading patterns were in disarray.The Congress had no power at this time under the Articles of Confederation.In the thirteen states, where power was centered, the separate currencies were in shambles.The United States was in need of a government with power and control because the Articles of Confederation were lacking many things and had left the government powerless.
Life as a Western Farmer in the 1780s
Life as a western Massachusetts farmer at this time was difficult to say the least.Farmers produced just enough from their land to support their families.If they were lucky and had a good year, there might be enough extra crops to sell or trade for goods.Farmers lived in the constant fear that they could lose their land and/or freedom to debt collectors.Unable to trade with foreign countries, the New England area merchants had to collect on loans made to farmers to make up for the lack of income from foreign trade.If the farmer could not pay the debt, his land could be taken to cover the debt (Szatmary 19).In many cases, farmers were imprisoned for failure to repay their debtors.To a farmer, owning land was a form of independence and freedom.Losing land meant losing freedom and independence to a farmer.This threat was leading to increased tension between the farming class and the commercial world.
As more and more merchants began attempting to collect debts owed to them by farmers, tensions between the two were beginning to boil over.The merchants really had no choice but to try and collect debts for a source of income.The Articles of Confederation left the government without any power.Foreign trade could not be established without government power.Merchants could not trade with other countries on their own and, as a result, were losing …


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