Favourite whisky

Out of context: Reply #18

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  • digdre0

    The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 helped bring about the demise of the aristocratic Federalist Government in favor of the democratic Republican Government, concerned with the needs of all of its citizens.

    The new country of the United States of America suffered many growing pains in trying to balance its commitment to liberty with the need for order. How much control is enough and what will be too much? After the Revolutionary War, the country purposely did not have a strong central government (that's what we fought against with the British). The states did as they pleased because the Articles of Confederation in 1781 gave them every power, jurisdiction and right not expressly delegated to the Continental Congress. Congress had no power to tax, regulate commerce, draft troops, or enforce foreign treaties. It was mainly a friendly overseer: thus the expression "the Do-Nothing Congress." Each state considered itself sovereign, free and independent, and easterners and westerners were separated by geography as well as their own concerns.

    The whiskey tax was collected at the source instead of the point of sale. If the whiskey was sold in the west, it was taxed 28%, but if it was sold in the east, it was taxed 14%. Collecting tax on the output of the still meant the farmers had to pay tax on whiskey they consumed themselves, which was not sold. Stills had to be registered, but not every county had a tax office, so most westerners ignored the law. Trials of excise tax cases were not permitted in local courts, so offenders had to travel to federal court in Philadelphia. The time to travel to Philadelphia, the cost of the travel, lawyers and witnesses made the westerners feel they were being deliberately picked on. In July of 1792 the farmers began their resistance by tarring and feathering an excise officer who tried to open a tax office in their county. Bloodshed between the rebels and local militia followed over the next two years.

    e Great Lakes; Spain, who held New Orleans, closed the Mississippi River to American shipping below Nachez and actively encouraged American settlers to break away from the Union and establish relations with them; Westerners in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania were subjected to attacks by marauding Indians (often instigated by the Spanish and British). Congress did not have the power to send troops for defense or protection, and the easterners in these states were too busy with politics to worry about their western frontiersmen. Consequently, the westerners did as they pleased with no regard to the laws the easterners made.

    Funding and assumption of states' debts required new revenue for the federal government. Aside from issuing bonds, Hamilton recommended two kinds of taxes, which the federal government now had the power to impose. One was a tariff on imports, which Hamilton saw as a way to raise money as well as to protect domestic industries from foreign competition.

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