Shay's Rebellion was a series of protests in the United States during 1786 and 1787. Led by Daniel Shays, an ex-Continental Army officer, it was an uprising against perceived economic injustices inflicted on Massachusetts citizens by the state government under the Articles of Confederation. The rebellion began when hundreds of farmers led by Shays closed down courthouses to prevent foreclosures and debt collection proceedings. This led to clashes with local militias that were sent out to restore order, resulting in several deaths on both sides before Governor James Bowdoin declared martial law.
The incident had far-reaching implications for American history as it demonstrated how weak the federal government was at this time due to its lack of power under the Articles of Confederation. It also highlighted issues such as tax inequalities among different classes within society, which would eventually lead to calls for change through constitutional reform—something that happened shortly afterward with the adoption of the Constitution in 1788 following a debate about what type of country America should be: one based upon republicanism or democracy? Ultimately, Shay's Rebellion proved important because it provided an impetus for those who wanted stronger central governance over their own affairs, something they got when Congress passed a new constitution two years later, replacing all thirteen states' governments formed after independence from Britain.