Whiskey Rebellion

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Washington leads his troops to western Pennsylvania (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Whiskey Rebellion was a rebellion in the history of the United States. Some farmers in Western Pennsylvania rebelled against the United States federal government in 1794. They believed that they had to pay a tax on Whiskey that was not fair. Other farmers in other parts of the United States did not have to pay the same tax. It was a tax on whiskey. Selling whiskey was how people traded things in Western Pennsylvania, so they thought the new tax was very unfair. Alexander Hamilton offered the idea to try and make up for the young country's debt from the war. The government under George Washington, with advice from Alexander Hamilton, quickly stopped the rebellion. Washington and Hamilton wanted to ensure that no one would question the power of the federal government, so they sent almost 13,000 troops to stop the rebellion of a few hundred farmers, led by President Washington himself. That made the new government more solid, and the President more powerful.[1] Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.[2]

So far, this is the only time in American history that a President has led the Army by himself.

References[change | change source]

  1. Rorabaugh, W.J. The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition, 1979. Oxford University Press, 53.
  2. Howlett, Leon. The Kentucky Bourbon Experience: A Visual Tour of Kentucky's Bourbon Distilleries, 2012, 7.