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Whiskey Rebellion

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• George Washington
Benjamin Lincoln
Revolutionary War
The Constitution
Articles of Confederation


Definition: First real test of the new United States Government's authority to enforce federal laws. In Western Pennsylvania, people used a lot of whiskey: both to use up extra corn and as money. The federal government passed a tax on whiskey in 1791. Farmers in western Pennsylvania refused to pay the tax, saying it was like the Stamp Act all over again. Trouble brewed for a couple years until 1794, when farmers assaulted federal tax collectors. President George Washington called out the national militia to put down what came to be called the Whiskey Rebellion. Many people were arrested, but all were later either pardoned or found not guilty.

Related Resources:
The New Nation
Find out more about the period between the signing of the Constitution and the year 1800.

Elsewhere on the Web:
The Whiskey Rebellion
Find out more about this famous uprising.

George Washington's Proclamation on the Whiskey Rebellion
Read the words of the president.

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