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 The tax was repealed in 1802.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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Whiskey Rebellion: Selected full-text books and articles

Our Rebellious Neighbors: Virginia's Border Counties during Pennsylvania's Whiskey Rebellion By Barksdale, Kevin T.; Lee, Henry The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 111, No. 1, January 1, 2003
The Whiskey Tax of 1791 and the Consequent Insurrection: "A Wicked and Happy Tumult" By Krom, Cynthia L.; Krom, Stephanie Accounting Historians Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2, December 2013
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Whiskey, Rebellion, and the Religious Left By Hogeland, William Tikkun, Vol. 22, No. 4, July/August 2007
The People Are Revolting! Why Populism and Parties Terrified George Washington By Crawford, Alan Pell The American Conservative, Vol. 13, No. 5, September-October 2014
The Republicans and Federalists in Pennsylvania, 1790-1801: A Study in National Stimulus and Local Response By Harry Marlin Tinkcom Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "Whiskey and Politics"
Whiskey Rebels: The Story of a Frontier Uprising By Leland D. Baldwin University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939
The Age of Federalism By Stanley Elkins; Eric McKitrick Oxford University Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. X "The Populist Impulse"
The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania By Solon J. Buck; Elizabeth Hawthorn Buck; Clarence McWilliams University of Pittsburgh Press, 1939
Librarian’s tip: Chap. XIX "Frontier Radicalism and Rebellion"
Albert Gallatin: Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat By Raymond Walters Macmillan, 1957
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Whiskey Rebellion: 'My Only Political Sin' 1791-1794"
A Baker's Dozen: Thirteen Unusual Americans By Russel B. Nye Michigan State University Press, 1956
Librarian’s tip: "John Fries" begins on p. 3
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.