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George Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 10 years, 7 months ago




Historical Context  Part of Hamilton’s financial plan was a tax on Whiskey [to pay for assumption] . Southwestern Pennsylvania backcountry folks hard hit by Hamilton's excise tax.      


“Whiskey Boys” posed a major challenge to the new national government –They torched buildings, tarred & feathered revenue officers, chased gov’t supporters from the region; some talked of secession from U.S. = Tax collections came to a halt.


Washington summoned the militia of several states resulting in 13,000-man army. Washington accompanied troops part of the way; Hamilton all the way. When the troops reached the hills of w. Penn., the Whiskey Boys dispersed. Washington later pardoned the two convicted participants to heal the rift.




Federal government showed it could ensure domestic tranquility 
Proved that another Shays’-type rebellion could not succeed under the new Constitution.

Jeffersonians condemned the action as a brutal display of force and gained increasingly more support from ordinary farmers.


Shays Rebellion(1786)  v The Whiskey Rebellion (1794)






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