Burdened by debt, state legislatures issued numerous taxes on the people, especially farmers. Throughout the 1780s, many protests were held by angry farmers. One of the most prominent was led by Daniel Shays of Massachusetts. Shay demanded paper money, tax relief, and the removing of the law that imprisoned those unable to pay their debt. Shay and his followers, the Shaysites, marched to Springfield, hoping to steal weapons from the arsenals; however, the colonial militia of Boston was able to suppress the rebellion before it got out of hand. They captured the mob and the rebels were first sentenced to death but were later pardoned and were offered some tax relief.
This revolt created an urgency for the country to produce a National Constitution. The Rebellion and the response of the government under the Articles of Confederation revealed how weak the central government was.