Whiskey Rebellion


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Many Leaders identified civil disobedience in different centuries mostly nineteenth or twentieth but American civil disobedience has a long history it goes as far back in the eighteenth century Behind this particular civil disobedience was not a single man stubbornly defending his position in a jail neither it was a charismatic leader preaching non violent methods to end violent nor it was a leader emerging from suppression to end discrimination and demand rights of his own people There were definitely leaders and followers and they were stubborn and committed but definitely not a minority but rather it was the masses who roared the entire region of Kentucky came out on the roads Except for a few petitions there is no record them being vocal about their position There is no record of their breaking the law by the government except a few perpetrators in the documents The record of this early mass civil disobedience lies in the lower federal courts in Kentucky the Harry Innes papers in the manuscript division of the library of congress and the revenue official correspondence in a long lost file in the national achieves But the most widely used collection by the historians of early American republic was American State papers Combine all how these show a remarkable story of tax evasion and how the entire population of Kentucky managed to resist the laws of the state for a long eight years Ironically the same hated excise made by Hamilton gained acceptance after Jefferson became president Civil disobedience is a serious dilemma which is mostly caused by war political under representation and inequality but it was unusual to be evoked by an internal revenue measure and resisted by the masses In fact it was not a taxation to support an infamous war nor was it taxation without representation but a simple tax to cover the cost of the state s revolutionary War debts and Kentucky just like other states were assured equality in final settlement The Whiskey Rebellion also known as Whiskey Insurrection was a tax protest during the presidency of George Washington which began in 1791 in the United States The tax was imposed on domestic distilled spirits It was a rum tax in Massachusetts a brandy tax in some parts of south eastern seaboard and a whiskey tax in the interior Although citizens from every region protested but strong measures were taken from the frontier Pennsylvania observed a covert rebellion while Massachusetts observed an overt rebellion which was agreed to be covered up by the Federalists Whiskey played an important role in the economy of Kentucky During that era whiskey was as important to Kentucky as tobacco was to Virginia in seventeenth century and cotton to the South after cotton gin came into being Whiskey was a substitute to money as banknotes were scarce after Appalachian Mountains Blue grass and Green river country the settled part of Kentucky was enormously fertile Corn and Hem thrived abundantly and horses cattle and hog were in increasing numbers But as Spain held the west bank of the Mississippi River and below what is now Vicksburg the east bank as well keeping in mind that Spain forbade free navigation of the Mississippi and prohibited Americans from exporting goods at New Orleans unless they paid an unreasonable amount of money there was absolutely no way they could export their produce and animals to the markets of eastern states or Europe Transporting grain or hem or animals eastward up the river or over mountains was an economic loss as transportation cost consumed all profit The only profitable product made in Kentucky that could be sold elsewhere was Whiskey which had greatest value for the weight and volume When congress passed internal revenue taxes Kentuckians protested publically and decided not to pay privately To them the federal government was taxing their only exportable good with no return Kentucky claimed to be in need of protection from the Indians and co operation from Spain but Washington officials were not aiding them with both Kentuckians accused congress for sacrificing Mississippi for commercial advantages that would only be of benefit to eastern states under the Articles of confederation In mid 1970s Washington Administration was negotiating with Great Britain but visibly ignored the needs of westerner s treaty with Spain It was then with people of Kentucky decided that they will not support the government as they have not supported them Marshal the chief revenue officer found it difficult to organize a tax collection and find people willing to serve as tax collectors because people were resigning as fast as being appointed in Kentucky district

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