shays's rebellion

Cultural Dictionary

Shays's Rebellion definition


An uprising led by a former militia officer, Daniel Shays, which broke out in western Massachusetts in 1786. Shays's followers protested the foreclosures of farms for debt and briefly succeeded in shutting down the court system. Although the rebellion was easily overcome, it persuaded conservatives of the need for a strong national government and contributed to the movement to draft the Constitution.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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