These paragraphs are abstracted from Reversing America's Decline: Jefferson's Remedy, p. 152, by Neal Q. Herrick. They relate Shays' rebellion to our present state of taxation without representation.
SHAYS' REBELLION (1786-87)
Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison dated January 30, 1787.
A privately funded Massachusetts militia defeated Shays' Rebellion about four months prior to the Philadelphia convention. These words of Jefferson's are certainly supportive of Shays. They should be read, however, side-by-side with his letter of Sept. 6, 1789, also to James Madison. In this later epistle he wrote ". . . every constitution . . . naturally expires at the end of 19 years, if it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right." He evidently believed that non-violent revolutions brought about by chan ges in a country's constitution might not only call "encroachments to the rights of the people" to the country's attention. They might also bring about remedies to these "encroachments." Generational constitutional conventions might, therefore, achieve results even more beneficial than those brought about by unsuccessful armed rebellions. They might also avoid the loss of lives that accompanies armed rebellions.
The armed resistance in Massachusetts ceased the following month. This sad end to Shays' Rebellion happened about four months before George Washington arrived in Philadelphia in mid-May, 1787. Shays and his followers believed they were acting in a manner consistent with the principles of the American Revolution. They were protesting, among other things, heavy taxation by a Massachusetts government they felt ignored their plight while favoring commercial interests.
Its Beneficial Results
There is no doubt, however, that Shays' "unsuccessful" Rebellion did achieve beneficial results. Not only did Massachusetts enact laws ...
End of Abstract
 I am indebted to "Shays's Rebellion" in West's Encyclopedia of American Law for much of the factual material in these pages. Except where otherwise indicated, the opinions expressed are mine.