Analyze The Causes Of The Whiskey Rebellion

One of the first major events to shape the U.S.government was when our nation

elected its first president, George Washington. When Washington took office during the

summer of 1789, he worked with the Congress, to build up its executive branch and the

judicial branch. These branches, along with the legislative branch, serve as the foundation of

America’s new system of government.

To build up the support for the executive branch, Washington and the Congress

established a various positions of the Cabinet. The Department of State, headed by Thomas

Jefferson, was created to take charge of foreign affairs. The Department of the Treasury,

headed by Alexander Hamilton, was created to handle the nation’s finances. The Department

of
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Many thought these taxes on luxuries were an abuse of the power of

federal government, particularly the South because they did not have a very robust economy

themselves. In fact, the U.S. tariff on whiskey caused the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794.

The Whiskey Rebellion started out in certain counties in Western Pennsylvania,

where protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting

the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western

Pennsylvania to serve writs on distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised,

and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector GEneral John

Neville. Washington sent peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with

the rebels and called on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. 13,000

militiamen were provided by the governors of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New

Jersey, Washington himself rode at the head of this army to suppress the insurgency.

While the Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government
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Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson had very different political ideas and they

often disagreed on various positions. They often took opposing sides and disagreed on

economic policy, the power of federal government, and on interpretations of the Constitution.

Besides, these two men, the Congress and the nation also had differences. By the middle of

the 1790s, two diverse political parties were formed. The first political party that was formed

and was led by Alexander Hamilton was the Federalists who supported the ratification of

the Constitution. The other political party that was formed and was led by Thomas Jefferson

and James Madison was the Republicans or Democratic Republicans who feared a strong

central government would endanger people’s rights. Both had different political views on how

the government should have been runned with the different political ideas. The Federalists

which was led by Hamilton had favored these political ideas: a strong federal government,

loose interpretation on of the Constitution, protective tariffs, and a national bank. The

Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson and Madison had a different political ideas such

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