Whiskey Rebellion

Carlisle, PA, United States
Est. 1.3km / 42 mins / Map

Whiskey Rebellion - Cya On The Road

The Whiskey Act was passed March 3, 1791 to try to help recover from war debt. The excise law required each rural distiller to pay either an annual rate of 60 cents per gallon of his still’s capacity or 9 cents per gallon produced, and the law also required distillers to keep accurate records of production and to gauge and label each cask before shipment- stipulations. That placed burdens on part-time, small-scale distillers who were not accustomed to such strict accounting.The act allowed federal government to levy direct and indirect taxes; the act felt like the Stamp Act, which made people worry that the government had too much power. It affected producers (western farmers) who were small-scale manufacturers like distillers who had to transport products over the Allegheny mountains to reach urban centers. Whiskey was also more efficient than rye and was used as currency due to scarcity of paper money and inability to pay enough cash to excise.For the first 2 years of the act, it was not allowed to indiscriminate search, and in 1792 Hamilton reduced tax rates and allowed for monthly payment to encourage compliance. To back him up, Washington issued a proclamation in September 1792 that ordered the dissolution of any organization or meeting designed to obstruct enforcement of any federal law, but the federal gov. still received no excise revenue from any rural area in 1793.At that point farmers started to threaten to destruct any property of anyone who followed the law, and push toward rebellion really began after June 5, 1794 when Congress amended the excise law to have defendants tried in state courts instead of county courts. This led to attacks on excise collectors.On August 7, 1794 Washington ordered rebels to stop their attacks and protests by September 1, then on September 9, Hamilton called for an assembly of militia of PA with a general rendezvous point at Carlisle. On the 25th of September Washington again declared that resistance to the law was not tolerated and military leaders began to collect forces from PA, MD, NJ, and VA to meet in Carlisle, which is just west of the Susquehanna River and was considered to be a boundary between urbanized eastern PA and rural western PA.

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