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The Justification Of The Whiskey Rebellion

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Jennifer Breen History 331 Ms. Caldwell C Format October 22, 2015 The Justification of The Whiskey Rebellion Faced with a large national debt as a result of the war, the newly founded republic, led by George Washington, instituted tariffs on certain domestic goods. The Whiskey Tax proved to be the most controversial of them all, because it targeted those who used whiskey as a method of trade. Unequally taxing the citizens, the Whiskey Tax sparked a rebellion led by the farmers of Western Pennsylvania. By stripping its citizens of their rights, the American republic modeled the very government that they had once rebelled against. The government’s response to the Whiskey Rebellion was a departure from the spirit of the American Revolution. Desperate to solidify the power of the majority, political leaders (especially Alexander Hamilton) relied on fear and oppression to assert its dominance over the states. By valuing the unity of the nation over the life and stability of the minority, the American government undid much of what the American Revolution had achieved. The American Revolution was founded on the notion that all men were created equal, and because of that no government could impede upon their inalienable rights. In the early 1700’s, British citizens emigrated to America in search of political, religious and socio-economic equality. England forced unjust taxes upon its former citizens, and, seeking justice, the colonists rebelled against their former homeland. The
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