Whiskey Rebellion

Whiskey Rebellion

Finding itself struggling to pay for the expenses of defeating the British Empire in the American Revolution, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and President George Washington soon turned to the taxation of whiskey as a means to fund government programs. Beginning in 1791, farmers who had turned their extra corn and grain into profitable whiskey suddenly faced new excise taxes on their whiskey products.

This new tax went over about as well as you would expect, with farmers continuing to distill whiskey, while evading the federal tax collectors, or “Revenuers.” By 1794 the “Whiskey Rebellion” reached its climax when 500 armed rebels attacked the home of the tax inspector general in protest of the whiskey taxes. President Washington responded by quashing the rebellion with 13,000 militia collected from several of the largest early states.

Though Washington won the battle, collection of the whiskey tax remained problematic. The whiskey tax was finally repealed when Thomas Jefferson’s new Republican Party defeated former treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Party in 1801.

Keep reading about the history of moonshine:

  1. Moonshine Whiskey and Colonial America
  2. American Revolution
  3. Whiskey Rebellion
  4. Prohibition
  5. Bootlegging
  6. NASCAR and Moonshine
  7. Popcorn Sutton
  8. Moonshining: An American Tradition
  9. The Future of Moonshine

Or you can view the entire Moonshine History article here.


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