Whiskey Rebellion Research Papers
Whiskey Rebellion research papers discuss this historical event. Have your paper custom written for any political science, U.S. History or American Studies course.
The Whiskey Rebellion was a tax protest that occurred in Western Pennsylvania during the administration of George Washington. The resistance started in 1791, when an excise tax on distilled spirits was passed in order to defray the government’s debt.
A tax on whiskey directly affected the poorer farmers along the western regions in the following ways:
- Many people along the frontier objected to the tax, as it was easier for them to distill their excess grain into whiskey for transport across the Appalachian Mountains and to market in the East.
- Whiskey often served as currency along the frontier, where hard specie (gold and silver) was scarce.
The Whiskey Rebellion and the Law
Beginning in 1791, many western regions began organizing conventions advocating repeal of the law. Opposition was especially strong in the four counties of southwestern Pennsylvania, surrounding Pittsburgh. In September, the tax collector was tarred and feathered. Violence was threatened against any supporters of the tax, in addition to government officials.
In 1794, the U.S. district attorney issued subpoenas for those who had not paid the tax. Eventually, federal troops under the command of President Washington moved into Western Pennsylvania to put down the insurrection, threatening armed force. The episode demonstrated the new government’s willingness to suppress violent opposition to the law.