Whiskey Rebellion

Whiskey Rebellion, 1794, uprising in the Pennsylvania counties W of the Alleghenies, caused by Alexander Hamilton's excise tax of 1791. The settlers, mainly Scotch-Irish, for whom whiskey was an important economic commodity, resented the tax as discriminatory and detrimental to their liberty and economic welfare. There were many public protests, and rioting broke out in 1794 against the central government's efforts to enforce the law. Troops called out by President Washington quelled the rioting, and resistance evaporated. Nevertheless Hamilton sought to make an example of the settlers and illustrate the newly created government's power to enforce its law; many were arrested. President Washington pardoned the two rebels who were convicted of treason. The tax was repealed in 1802.

See L. D. Baldwin, Whiskey Rebels (rev. ed. 1967); W. Hogeland, The Whiskey Rebellion (2006).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Whiskey Rebels: The Story of a Frontier Uprising
Leland D. Baldwin.
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939
The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution
Thomas P. Slaughter.
Oxford University Press, 1988
The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania, 1790-1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response
Harry Marlin Tinkcom.
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "Whiskey and Politics"
The Age of Federalism
Stanley Elkins; Eric McKitrick.
Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "The Populist Impulse"
The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania
Solon J. Buck; Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck; Clarence McWilliams.
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIX "Frontier Radicalism and Rebellion"
The Farmers' Movement, 1620-1920
Carl C. Taylor.
American Book, 1953
Librarian’s tip: "The Whiskey Rebellion" begins on p. 45
Albert Gallatin: Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat
Raymond Walters.
Macmillan, 1957
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Whiskey Rebellion: 'My Only Political Sin' 1791-1794"
Founders of American Economic Thought and Policy
Virgle Glenn Wilhite.
Bookman Associates, 1958
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VIII "Alexander Hamilton: Tory Nationalist"
A Baker's Dozen: Thirteen Unusual Americans
Russel B. Nye.
Michigan State University Press, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "John Fries" begins on p. 3
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