January 6

January 6 was an alarm bell for America

If you’re tired of hypochondriac journalists’ takes on January 6, then try Thomas Jefferson’s. He delivered his judgment on events of that sort back in 1787. ‘I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing,’ he wrote to James Madison, ‘and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.’ Unlike the riot at the Capitol last year, the rebellion that Jefferson had in mind was a genuine armed insurrection. The Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays and his followers, furious over taxes and debts, forced state courts in Massachusetts to shut down in the late months of 1786. By early 1787, Shays commanded