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.
Find out more about the period between the signing of the
Constitution and the year 1800.
on the Web:
Find out more about this famous uprising.
Washington's Proclamation on the Whiskey
Read the words of the president.
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