Although the power of the national government increased during the early republic, this development often faced serious opposition. Compare the motives and effectiveness of those opposed to the growing power of the national government during TWO of the following: The Whiskey Rebellion, the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, or the Hartford Convention.
The Federalist dominated government displayed power like that of Great Britain. Once the people of the United States noticed this power through various sectionalized rebellions, letters in the newsprints, and resolutions written by several of our founding fathers, the people came to a mutual conclusion that a Federalist dominated congress was one that they need to oppose.
The Whiskey Rebellion was an uprising in 1794 by 3,000 settlers in the backcountry of Pennsylvania who opposed the tax on distilled whiskey. Alexander Hamilton can be credited for the passing of this tax in 1791. The purpose of the tax was to help decrease the national debt; however, the western settlers thought the tax was discriminatory, and they objected it. For many of them, whiskey was the only medium of exchange. Once the rebellion had commenced, George Washington called to the militia to suppress the rebellion. Fifteen thousand troops were sent to Pennsylvania. Alexander Hamilton was at the head of the troops. The uprising ended almost immediately, and without bloodshed. This incident turned the frontier people into Jeffersonian followers or Anti-Federalists, but showed the strength of the Federal government.
Throughout 1798, Jefferson conferred with James Madison about a strategy to oppose the Alien and Sedition Acts. Knowing that all branches of the national government were in Federalist hands, they turned to the states. Jefferson, secretly, wrote up a set of resolutions to be introduced into the next session of the Anti-Federalist Kentucky legislature, and Madison did the same for the Virginia legislature. One reason they kept...
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