Event: 1794

The Whiskey Rebellion and Sovereignty in the Early American Republic

National Association of Scholars


The Whiskey Rebellion and Sovereignty in the Early American Republic

Tuesday, May 11th | 2 pm ET
Webinar Event

In the wake of the Revolutionary War, the fledgling federal government imposed a tax on domestic distilled spirits, the most common of which was whiskey. This “whiskey tax” was intended to help pay down the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. However, farmers and planters in western regions resisted, believing that the tax was unjust. Many of these farmers were veterans of the revolutionary war and considered that they were fighting for the same principles in opposing the whiskey tax. Violence and protests broke out, and in response, George Washington sent a militia out to enforce the tax and suppress the rebellion.

George Washington arguably believed that the Whiskey Rebellion was the single most significant event in the history of the early United States. In his Proclamation authorizing the use of the militia to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington said that "the very existence of government, and the fundamental principles of social order were involved in the issue." To what extent has this been borne out by history? What does the rebellion tell us about popular American attitudes at the time on taxation and centralized federal authority? How did Washington's response, by sending in the militia, accord or depart from the principles and ideals fought for during the American Revolution?

Join the National Association of Scholars on May 11th at 2 pm ET to find out.

This event will feature William Hogeland,  author of the narrative-history trilogy, Wild Early Republic  — The Whiskey RebellionDeclaration, and Autumn of the Black Snake; Terry Bouton, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland–Baltimore County; and Paul Douglas Newman, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Photo by Unknown, attributed to Frederick Kemmelmeyer - Metropolitan Museum of Art, Public Domain

  • Share

Most Commented

January 24, 2024


After Claudine

The idea has caught on that the radical left overplayed its hand in DEI and is now vulnerable to those of us who seek major reforms. This is not, however, the first time that the a......

February 13, 2024


The Great Academic Divorce with China

All signs show that American education is beginning a long and painful divorce with the People’s Republic of China. But will academia go through with it?...

October 31, 2023


University of Washington Violated Non-Discrimination Policy, Internal Report Finds

A faculty hiring committee at the University of Washington “inappropriately considered candidates’ races when determining the order of offers,” provided “disparate op......

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

September 21, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What Does YHWH Elohim Mean?

A reader asks, "If Elohim refers to multiple 'gods,' then Yhwh Elohim really means Lord of Gods...the one of many, right?" A Hebrew expert answers....