The Whiskey Rebellion During The Presidency Of George Washington

History has a huge effect on all of us around the world. What caused the ups and downs of history? Rebellions had influences in how people were to be governed and they have their own endings. There could be happy endings where rebellions are good for the people yet are they good for the government? There could also be destructive endings that make the government/state prosper, yet are they good for the people? The Whiskey rebellion was a protest for tax in the United States. It started in 1791 and ended in 1794. This rebellion took place in Western Pennsylvania during the time George Washington was president. The Whiskey Rebellion was one of the biggest events that changed the tax world till 1802.

Many things had caused this rebellion to start. People everywhere thought it was unfair and changes needed to be done. “People from all regions protested, but those on the frontier took stronger measures. In Pennsylvania, the tax provoked what the administration perceived as an overt rebellion.” This showed that things were serious and people would do anything to get what they wanted. Eleven men had dressed up as women and attacked an officer on September 11, 1791. His name was Robert Johnson and he knew two of the men who had attacked him. He had them arrested after he had been beaten up and left alone by them. This was one of the first attacks people had started to fight for the whiskey rebellion. “Incidents escalated over the next few years. In 1793, the home of Pennsylvania excise officer Benjamin Wells was broken into twice.” Each year threats and cases were getting worse and more dangerous.

There were many effects of from the whiskey rebellion that resulted in people getting severely hurt. “The suppression of the rebellion had gathered widespread approval, a success in the minds of Washington and other members of the U.S congress. Most importantly, the government's act on the rebellion showed the willingness and power of the new federal government to suppress violence and resistance to laws of the United States.” George Washington knew that this rebellion was too much and he had to put an end to it. So he sent 1300 troops and it had mostly worked. Everyone thought that having all of these troops to defeat this rebellion was a bit much but Washington knew it had to be done. The army he had was very powerful and strong and without them a lot would have stayed the same.

The Whiskey tax made farmers very mad because the trade would have become unprofitable. It would be very hard for them to do anything at all because, all of these laws were leaving them with serious problems and concerns. It was also not good for many westerns because they felt like all of their rights were being taken away from them. This made them very furious as well. “The pressing ignorance of the north lead to many conventions in Pittsburgh, where commoners would discuss the whiskey tax and other problems with the government.” These conventions made President Washington very upset and he had ordered to have them banned. Once this became banned, all of the farmers had decided that they need to take care of this problem by themselves. So they took an army of 500 and attacked the federal Marshals when they came to West Pennsylvania to collect the tax. This time Washington knew that it was too much and he had to put an end to all of it. That is when he had sent his troops to defeat them all and it helped him drastically.

Having the Whiskey rebellion that started because of a tax problem resulted in making the United States a stronger union all together. “The pardon showed that the federal government was capable of enforcing peace, and the pardons helped calm things down and prevent more violence.” The Whiskey Rebellion had ended in 1794 with a stronger army and a new powerful constitution. “The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest, to grant indulgence; whereas, all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians. Test oaths and established creeds, should be avoided as the worst of evils.” - John Legend “Virginia Chronicle”. This quote shows that even in the 1700’s they wanted equal rights and equal freedom. People wouldn’t revolt over things because they always had free rights.

“Nay, if we may openly speak the Truth, and as becomes one man to another” – Washington. The truth should always be told and if you lie and cheat, then you will suffer many consequences. During the Whiskey rebellion many people on both sides got hurt. “To Federalists, however, the most important result was that the national authority had triumphed over its first rebellious adversary and had won the support of the state governments in enforcing federal law within the states.” The federalists wanted to gain more power and have the feeling of gaining even more. All they wanted was for this law to be passed, and they didn’t care about other people’s opinions. They just wanted the support from the state governments, and that was all.

“This book documents the counter assertion that Muslims, far from being definitively un-American, were deeply embedded in the concept of citizenship in the United States since the country’s inception, even if these inclusive ideas were not then accepted by the majority of Americans.” This quote shows that even though people had different thoughts about different things they still had strong citizenship within each other. It shows that even during Jefferson’s time there was respect within one another. Although they disagreed with certain things, they still respected their thoughts.

“To be acquainted with the various laws and constitutions of civilized nations, especially those who flourish in our own time, is, perhaps, the most useful part of knowledge”. - George Sale (Thomas Jefferson’s Quran). This quote is trying to say that knowing the laws and constitutions of your time is very important. It gives you a lot of knowledge and helps you understand your time. During the Whiskey Rebellion many people were educated on the laws of their time and knew what was going on. The outcome of the Whiskey Rebellion had been very big. Even after the rebellion had ended many farmers still refused to pay the tax on Whiskey. The riot had become part of the federal government. The Whiskey Rebellion has become a bunch of protests and government could not control it. The Whiskey tax had many effects such as revolts, protests, and hurtful crimes towards others. Many people became injured because of this Whiskey Rebellion. Because of all these rebellious acts, it had made western farmers want to vote more to get their equally rights and end this. This tax did not get repealed at all until the power of the federal government was given to Thomas Jefferson’s party during the 1800’s.

Many western farmers stood up for their rights because of this Whiskey rebellion. By stood up, it means that they attacked people in the government and had mobs going to houses to revolt. But without any of these revolts and attacks, there would be no change of law and nothing would have become repealed. These mobs were going to different places and attacking different people on different days trying to spread the message. The plan had worked because the second this law was put out, people went against it right away. Many people wanted to put an end to what had started and they made sure the law would be banished forever. They would take drastic measures to put an end to it all.

Now how did this Whiskey Rebellion start? It started when the U.S had the opportunity to make a federal authority by the military. It was within the Tate boundaries as well. Once they made this law people didn’t approve because they didn’t like it and couldn’t afford to pay it. There were so many mobs and attacks that President Washington couldn’t take it anymore. He sent troops to end it all. It had helped dramatically and simmered down the angry mobs of people who were revolting.

The United States became stronger and more united after this rebellion had ended. During the rebellion many people were scared that they would be defeated by absolute power and they didn't want that to happen so they tried their best to revolt. In the end, the Whiskey rebellion was put to an end and a few years later the Whiskey law was ended as well. It had created a stronger union though and the U.S had been through their first challenge of the federal authority. This had all taken place in Western Pennsylvania and resulted in the government having a huge victory. This rebellion ended with the government succeeding, but also making people stronger to fight for their rights and have equal rights. It all ended when the Militia was called out by President Washington. Many tax collectors were beaten, shot, and tarred and feathered. Slowly the things people did to revolt were getting more and more dangerous by the day. It wouldn’t have ever stopped if it wasn’t for President Washington and his army of troops to put an end to it all. In the end, the government had succeeded and beat the people, only to end this law a few years later. The law was not very successful after all those years of fighting for it. This law had made a huge impact in the U.S. government's history. 

09 March 2021
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