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Turning point in history

By sarah_brkr Oct 02, 2013 512 Words

Nearly twenty years after the revolutionary War began, the United States government faced a small-scale revolution by some of its own citizens. As in the previous war, taxes were a central issue. And Alexander Hamilton understood that putting down this rebellion was critical to the life of the nation. In order to create a self-supporting and effective government, Treasury Secretary Hamilton knew he needed to find a steady source of revenue. He proposed an excise tax on whiskey produced in the United States, and Congress instituted the levy in 1791. In general, the citizens of that time felt negatively toward the idea of taxation. The farmers of western Pennsylvania, many of whom distilled whiskey and profited from its sale, proved outright hostile to the idea. In July of 1794, a force of disaffected whiskey rebels attacked and destroyed the home of a tax inspector. The rebellion grew in numbers, if not in actions, and threatened to spread to other states. Hamilton knew that the presence of a large and potentially hostile force in Pennsylvania could not be tolerated. If the government were to survive, it would have to show itself capable of keeping control. Hamilton advocated the use of military force; President George Washington instead put state militias on the ready and sent in negotiators. When talks proved fruitless, Washington acquiesced to Hamilton's view. A force of 13,000 militia troops, led by Hamilton and Virginia governor Henry Lee, marched into western Pennsylvania. By the time the federal force arrived, the rebellion had collapsed and most of the rebels had fled. Two men were convicted of treason and later pardoned by Washington. Alexander Hamilton was elated. The fledgling federal government had proven it could keep order -- a necessity if the U.S. was to avoid instability. But many, in particular Thomas Jefferson, thought that this resort to military force was a dangerous mistake. It convinced them that Hamilton was a dangerous man.

Two-party system is a state in which just two parties dominate. Other parties might exist but they have no political importance. America has the most obvious two-party political system with the Republicans and Democrats dominating the political scene. For the system to work, one of the parties must obtain a sufficient working majority after an election and it must be in a position to be able to govern without the support from the other party. A rotation of power is expected in this system. The victory of George W Bush in the November 2000 election, fulfils this aspect of the definition. The two-party system presents the voter with a simple choice and it is believed that the system promotes political moderation as the incumbent party must be able to appeal to the ‘floating voters’ within that country. Those who do not support the system claim that it leads to unnecessary policy reversals if a party loses a election as the newly elected government seeks to impose its ‘mark’ on the country that has just elected it to power. Such sweeping reversals, it is claimed, cannot benefit the state in the short and long term.

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