Life Before The Constitution
I am apart of a farming family with a small amount of land. I live in western Massachusetts. I grow only enough to feed myself and I sell some in town. I am badly in debt because my crops failed last year and I had to borrow money to buy food and a new plow. And I cannot pay the state tax and it is very high and this is a desperate time for me. And everyone in my family risked their lives in the Revolution fighting for freedom from Great Britain. Me and hundreds maybe thousands of people decided to take law into our hands and we got led by Daniel Shay.
I am a Shoemaker. I live in Manchester, New Hampshire. I work in a small shop where I get paid by how many shoes I make. I use and own my own tools. Times are hard for me right now. I had to go into debt for $50 to buy my own tools when i went into this line of work, right after the Revolutionary War ended. I thought the money would be easy to pay. But that did not work out. In 1786, my state legislature voted to stop issuing paper money. There is less money and each dollar is worth more now. And I had to put my shoe prices down because less people are buying. The man that i owe is threatening me and saying he will take me to court. The same people as me are starting riots and are using clubs and guns and demanding lower taxes. I thought this is great. So i enlisted it in the Revolutionary War to fight for.
Enslaved African American
Everyone in my family is enslaved. We live in a tobacco plantation in Virginia. The year is 1787. Eleven years ago the Declaration of Independence stated that "all men are created equal." And yet if your skin is black and if you were born a slave you remain a slave. The American Revolution did not mean freedom for everyone. In fact, the man who wrote those words is a slave owner. My life as a slave is harsh. I work in the field then I do chores. I am under the constant control of my master. I am with my family so I try to enjoy my life. But my family can get separated in an instant. The Constitutional Convection raises the possibility of freedom. Slavery might just be outlawed.