Whiskey Rebellion

The Whiskey Tax brought about a serious uproar among Western farmers and others whose economic lives were largely structured around whiskey. In rural areas of Kentucky and Ohio, farmers converted their grains into whiskey, which was a valuable commodity that was relatively easy to transport. In parts of the West, whiskey was used almost like money. Whiskey was used as a tool for bartering at country stores, and some churches paid part of the preacher's salaries in whiskey.

Residents of western Pennsylvania were particularly resentful toward the whisky tax. Many decided to oppose the tax, to the point at which, by the summer of 1794, four western counties of Pennsylvania were in open revolt. The excise inspector's house was burned down, tax collectors were abused, and a march on Pittsburgh was threatened. As the revolt gathered strength and began to threaten national security, President Washington called for volunteers to suppress it. Almost 13,000 men replied to the call, and even President Washington briefly returned to the field. The makeshift army could not find any rebels willing to fight, so they arrested 20 people and took them marching through Philadelphia, the capital of the country at the time. The 20 were put in prison for a few months, but only two were convicted of treason. President Washington pardoned both of them, one because one was declared insane and the other was judged to be a simpleton. This brought the Whiskey Rebellion to a close