Shays' Rebellion was named for its most famous leader, Daniel Shays (1747-1825). Shays was a veteran of the American Revolution who returned to a Massachusetts that was deep in an economic depression. Western Massachusetts, where he lived, was particularly hard-hit. In addition to the economic stresses, the region felt a deep distrust of the leadership in Boston, which seemed unconcerned with problems outside its immediate area. In the summer of 1786 a series of court actions designed to collect back taxes forced significant numbers of farmers into bankruptcy. Organized groups of veterans protested, using the tools of the revolutionary era, including petitions and mob action. They forced court closures across the region, from Connecticut to Vermont, New Hampshire, and the outskirts of Boston. The groups came to a consensus that a new government was needed. To build an army, in January 1787 they marched on Springfield, Massachusetts, where the Continental Army kept its arsenal. After a short skirmish the rebels were defeated and they dispersed. A state-raised army tracked down most of the Shays rebels during the winter of 1787. Daniel Shays himself escaped to Vermont. For many, the rebellion symbolized the fatal weakness of the national government: under the Articles of Confederation, Congress could not raise a national army without unanimous consent of the states, so it was unable to act in time to assist Massachusetts. This weakness helped spur the events of the summer of 1787, when the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia wrote a constitution that defined a stronger, more capable federal government.