The American Revolutionary War : The Whiskey Rebellion, By President George Washington

The American Revolutionary War : The Whiskey Rebellion, By President George Washington

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During the American Revolutionary War in 1775, the soon to be United States of America borrowed money from foreign countries, leaving the country with a large debt of fifty-four million dollars at the end of the war. Consequently, in effort to lighten the loan, the government imposed taxes on domestic products, particularly, distilled spirits. In 1971 the soi-disant “whiskey tax” was implemented, citizens across the country felt displeasure and saw such action as hypocrisy, being that there was taxation without representation. The first course of action taken by the citizens was to boycott the tax, however, the situation climaxed in October, 1974 when armed rebels started to violently attack tax collectors throughout Pennsylvania and in one case burning the chief’s house down.

In the letter, “The Whiskey Rebellion,” written by President George Washington, he specifies the sense of obligation for the Unites States citizens to obey the law. This proclamation mainly stipulates the consequences that could lie upon the citizens who do not comply with the law and obey the friends of the laws who act upon the reinforcement of the same. As

George Washington directed his words toward the people of Pennsylvania who opposed the excise, with the purpose of informing them of the consequences for having committed acts of treason and violently attacking private citizens who were “friends of the law,” notifying them of about thirteen thousand militants sent to put an end to the ordeal, but at the same time including concern for both parties as he asked the rebels to stand down so it could end in a peaceful manner. Furthermore, he demonstrated the power of the nascent country and ability to handle such situations.

As an emerging country, Unite...


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...taxes. However, not taken under account this proclamation meant having small farmers welfare at economic risk. Small farmers were not able to pay taxation on the one product that meant their only source of income. The misrepresentations of the people lead thousands of farmers to stand against the taxation of whiskey. In the case where the situation had not been taken under control, the Whiskey Rebellion could had driven to a second Revolution, which by all means would have left the country in more debt.

By all means, the Whiskey Rebellion is one of the most important movements of the early republic because it tested the federal government’s power. This historical event strengthened political value of rule of law and it strengthened the Constitutional principle of Federalism. As well, it showed the people, the United States citizens that the law was to be followed.

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