“It’s extraordinary that this violent socialist rebellion against the U.S. government—the only one of its kind—has been largely erased from collective memory. Despite its failure, it wrecks long-standing arguments for ‘American exceptionalism,’ as Alexis de Tocqueville called it—the notion that the United States is uniquely immune to radical class-based uprisings. But what’s most striking about the Green Corn Rebellion is the ambition of these half-starved backcountry farmers, the combination of boldness and delusion that propelled them to take on the government and the capitalist economic system. Armed with Winchesters, shotguns and squirrel-guns, riding on horses and mules, or walking on foot, they were confident of victory.”
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