The Whiskey Rebellion

The Whiskey Rebellion

George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America's Newfound Sovereignty

Book - 2006
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A gripping and sensational tale of violence, alcohol, and taxes, The Whiskey Rebellion uncovers the radical eighteenth-century people's movement, long ignored by historians, that contributed decisively to the establishment of federal authority.

In 1791, on the frontier of western Pennsylvania, local gangs of insurgents with blackened faces began to attack federal officials, beating and torturing the tax collectors who attempted to collect the first federal tax ever laid on an American product--whiskey. To the hard-bitten people of the depressed and violent West, the whiskey tax paralyzed their rural economies, putting money in the coffers of already wealthy creditors and industrialists. To Alexander Hamilton, the tax was the key to industrial growth. To President Washington, it was the catalyst for the first-ever deployment of a federal army, a military action that would suppress an insurgency against the American government.

With an unsparing look at both Hamilton and Washington, journalist and historian William Hogeland offers a provocative, in-depth analysis of this forgotten revolution and suppression. Focusing on the battle between government and the early-American evangelical movement that advocated western secession, The Whiskey Rebellion is an intense and insightful examination of the roots of federal power and the most fundamental conflicts that ignited--and continue to smolder--in the United States.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, c2006
ISBN: 9780743254915
Branch Call Number: 973.4 H6785w4
Characteristics: ix, 302 pages : maps ; 21 cm


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Jun 10, 2018

Read this and learn about just how corrupt Hamilton truly was. A man who in 1787 pushed forcefully for federal government, then used said government to crush a rebellion of common folk- a rebellion that Hamilton himself manufactured for the sake of his own creditors. Hamilton really was the first American crony capitalist, and his legacy of using governmental powers to pick and choose winners and losers in a "free-market" economy set a dangerous precedent for the nation going forward.

Feb 18, 2017

Excellent history. The Whiskey Rebellion was a black eye for George Washington's career, but Alexander Hamilton is really the devious villain of the story. Hamilton shamelessly manipulated Washington like a puppet master, to do his corrupt bidding for the sake of NYC speculators and creditors. Hamilton - the Treasury secretary who appointed himself Secretary of War so he could lead an army to collect his corrupt taxes. To this day we have Hamilton to thank for establishing a pattern of crony partisan corruption that continues to threatens us with the current episode of complete corruption in DC ready to destroy the US once and for all. Politicians like Hamilton used government to enrich himself and his buddies. Fortunately the fiasco that was the Whiskey Rebellion was the straw that broke the camel's back for Hamilton's career (and also killing off for all times Washington's Federalist Party). No wonder Aaron Burr was so popular in the West.

I started THE WHISKEY REBELLION once several years ago and then put it down. I picked it back up recently after reading William Hogeland lambaste (in a Harper's cover story) commercial Broadway juggernaut HAMILTON for its hagiographic portrayal of the Washington's war-time chief of staff and first Treasury Secretary. The Whiskey Tax was Alexander Hamilton's scheme for paying off the young nation's profiteering bondholders at the expense of small Western distillers. Citizens who lived west of the Allegheny Mountains rebelled in the 1790s because they didn't want their stills taxed. Hamilton convinced Washington to raise an army and invade the Pittsburgh area of Western Pennsylvania, what was then known as the Forks for the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. The Whiskey Rebellion was crushed a few months after Little Turtle was defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.


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