The Whiskey Rebellion was a protest again taxes devised by then U.S. treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton during the presidency of George Washington in 1791. The whiskey tax was the first tax, which was imposed on domestic product and was the first one to have been implemented by the first federal government of the United States. The tax contributed to the power of the federal government and sped up the formation of different parties.
The tax was part of Hamilton’s program to provide funds for paying debts that accumulated after the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. Even though the law concerned all distilled beverages, whiskey was the most popular and brought the farmers of the western frontier region the biggest dividends. The culmination of the resistance happened in July 1794 when a U.S. marshal came to western Pennsylvania to claim money from those distillers who had not paid excise at all. The reaction of the government was swift when 500 armed men started attacking the fortified house of General John Neville. Washington, smartly enough, sent peace commissioners at the same time having gathered the army of 13 000 militiamen and lead the force himself. There was no battle as the insurgents dispersed before the arrival of the army. Nonetheless, Washington’s attitude to insurrections became most evident – he did not accept them and was willing to do anything in his power to fight them. The federal government proved that it has the abilities and resources to deal with those, who were not willing to accept the laws.
The consequences were far reaching. Besides imposing the power of the federal government, the rebellion influenced the formation of different parties, a process then existing catalyzed by this event.