Whiskey Rebellion Elizabeth Stone History 1301 Whiskey Rebellion happened in 1 791 when the government put a tax of 25% on all whiskey sold in the United States. Since the tax affected a commodity produced and sold was sold by the citizens themselves the tax was very much disagreed about. This was the first test of the power of the new government. By 1 791 the united States suffered from significant debt incurred during the Revolutionary War.
Secretary Hamilton, a Federalist supporting increased federal authority, intended to use the excise tax to lessen this financial ruder.Despite resistance from Anti-Federalists like Thomas Jefferson, Congress passed the legislation. When news of the tax spread to Western Pennsylvania, individuals immediately voiced their displeasure by refusing to pay the tax. Residents viewed this tax as yet another instance of unfair policies dictated by the eastern elite that negatively affected American citizens on the frontier. Many citizens fought that this was a discrimination and also detrimental to their liberty and economic welfare.There argument was that whiskey sales brought in more money than crops. The farmers sold if for self profit.
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Farmers who used their leftover grain and corn in the form of whiskey as a medium of exchange were forced to pay a new tax. So the citizens decided that the best solution to show their rebellion was to with hold paying the taxes. The tax was a part of treasury secretary Alexander Hamiltonians program to increase central government power, in particular to fund his policy of assuming the war debt of those states which had failed to pay.The farmers who resisted, many war veterans, contended that they were fighting or the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the Federal government maintained the taxes were the legal expression of the taxation powers of Congress. The rebellion continued all the way up to Virginia and North Carolina. After, the citizens started to rebel the government started taking action. They did this by enforcing the tax through legal action.
The rebellion went on for over three years in countries west of Pennsylvania.In June of 1794 local officials ordered the arrest possessive ringleaders. This cause more anger amongst the fame’s in Pennsylvania to put up an active fight. The forceful resistance took form in threats, gunfire, assault, and arson. This was directed toward tax collectors. The citizens engaged in tarring and feathering inspector that tried to stay and collect the tax. Oftentimes these tactics proved effective.
It broke into open rebellion in July of 1 794 when a tax collector by the name of John Manville was approached at his house by an angry mob. He escaped with his life, but Oliver Miller one of the rebels didn’t.The next day James McFarland, commander of the local militia, was killed and all hopes of a peaceful resolution dissolved. By this point the federal government took initiative and stepped into the conflict. President George Washington took charge and was finally able to bring the rebellion to a halt. He ordered the governors of Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia to provide militiamen to serve in an expedition to westerner Pennsylvania to put down the rebellion. He did this because the entire united States army at the time was fighting a war in Ohio against the Indians.
He requested that the voluntary militia be called into federal service under the Militia Act of 1792. According to the provisions Of the act it was necessary for a feral judge to approve the use of militia to enforce federal law. Permission was granted but it was the first time the militia was called into federal service under the Constitution. He personally took command of the militia as this was the largest military operation since the Revolutionary war. This was the first and only time in United States history that a sitting president donned a uniform to command troops in battle.Washington and the militia arrived at the scene of the rebellion by November 2nd. There was word of the militia on the march the majority of the rebels hid or disappeared.
Federal authority was soon restored allowing officials the opportunity to resume their whiskey tax collection. Militia patrols arrested the ringleaders and escorted them to Philadelphia for trial. By the end of the month the rebellion was over and most of the Militia returned home. The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the willingness and ability to suppress violent resistance to TTS laws.The whiskey excise remained difficult to collect, however. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already underway. The whiskey tax was repealed after Thomas Jefferson Republican Party, which opposed Hamiltonians Federalist Party, came to power in 1801.
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