August 29 marks the 1632 birthday of British philosopher John Locke, author of Two Treatises of Government, and one of the strongest intellectual influences on America’s 18th century secessionist movement and subsequent constitutional thinking. Locke died on October 28, 1704.
On August 29, 1786, Shays’ Rebellion began. The rebellion was an armed uprising of Massachusetts farmers reacting very negatively against the high debt and tax burdens enacted to pay off the Revolutionary War. This rebellion scared American leaders into revising the Articles of Confederation, a process that led not to a mere few changes, but to the writing of a whole new Constitution.