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    Understanding Taxes

    After the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the United States was faced with a tremendous war debt and a need to create economic stability and prosperity. Two taxes--the Whiskey Tax of 1791 and the Tariff of 1832--were especially important in shaping the development of the young nation.

    The Whiskey Tax

    In 1791, Congress placed an excise tax on the sale of whiskey. The tax was intended to help shift resources from individuals to national programs, such as building roads and post offices, and supporting a western defense.

    Farmers in western Pennsylvania believed that their livelihoods were threatened by the tax, and many refused to pay it. In 1794, they took part in the Whiskey Rebellion to protest the tax. President Washington sent militias into western Pennsylvania, and the rebellion was defeated.

    The Whiskey Rebellion was the first test of the government's constitutional power to tax. Some criticized Washington for sending troops to face American citizens, yet his actions enforced the federal government's authority. Washington made the point that the Constitution is the law of the land and must be obeyed.

    The Tariff of 1832

    Nearly 40 years after the Whiskey Rebellion, one region of the country again felt threatened by a tax--a revenue tariff. The Tariff of 1832 was a protective tariff that significantly taxed imported goods.

    infant industries such as the factories in the North benefited from this tariff because people bought more domestic goods. Southern cotton farmers, however, lost business because the English textile industry could not buy as much cotton from the South. South Carolina called for a nullification, or rejection, of the federal tariff and threatened to leave the union. President Andrew Jackson stepped in, and a compromise was reached in 1833.



    Activity 1: The Impact of the Whiskey Tax and the Tariff of 1832

    Who was affected by the tax on whiskey in 1791 and the Tariff of 1832? Match the events and groups involved to the appropriate region of the country.

    Activity 2: The Whiskey Tax of 1791 and the Tariff of 1832

    Identify the causes and effects of these early taxes.

    Activity 3: Timeline of U.S. Tariffs between 1816-1860

    Discover more about U.S. tariffs enforced between 1816 and 1860.

    Activity 4: Tax Word Scramble

    Use clues to solve tax word scramble.


    Complete the assessment page to test your understanding of Early Tax Issues.

    Source : apps.irs.gov

    Chapter 9 Wkst Flashcards

    Memorize flashcards and build a practice test to quiz yourself before your exam. Start studying the Chapter 9 Wkst flashcards containing study terms like In which region of the country did taxes on whiskey lead to a rebellion?, Around 1794, where did the British begin building a new fort?, Which treaty opened most of Ohio to white settlers? and more.

    Chapter 9 Wkst

    In which region of the country did taxes on whiskey lead to a rebellion?

    Click card to see definition πŸ‘†

    Western Pennsylvania

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    Around 1794, where did the British begin building a new fort?

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    Terms in this set (15)

    In which region of the country did taxes on whiskey lead to a rebellion?

    Western Pennsylvania

    Around 1794, where did the British begin building a new fort?


    Which treaty opened most of Ohio to white settlers?

    Treaty of Greenville

    What barred French and British warships from American ports?

    Proclamation of Neutrality

    What did George Washington consider a grave danger to the new nation?

    Growth of political parties

    Which political party stood for a strong federal government?


    Which party feared that a strong central government would endanger people's liberties?


    Who was the second president of the United States?

    John Adams

    What proposed a challenge to the constitutional authority of the national government?

    Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

    What divided the federalist and hurt John Adams chance for reelection?

    Treaty with France

    Who was the nations first Vice President?

    John Adams

    What is one of the liberties guaranteed in the bill of rights?

    Freedom of speech

    Who was the first Chief Justice of the United States?

    John Jay

    The judiciary act of 1789 established which kind of legal system?

    Federal court system

    To help build a strong national economy, what did Hamilton ask congress to create?

    A national bank

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    Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jump to navigation Jump to search

    Not to be confused with Whisky War.

    Whiskey Rebellion

    George Washington reviews the troops near Fort Cumberland, Maryland, before their march to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

    Date 1791–1794 Location

    primarily Western Pennsylvania

    Result Government victory

    Armed resistance eliminated

    Minor tax evasion Belligerents

    Frontier tax protesters  United States

    Commanders and leaders

    James McFarlane George Washington

    Henry Lee III Alexander Hamilton Units involved

    Rebels State militia from:

    Virginia Maryland New Jersey Pennsylvania Regular army Strength

    600 Pennsylvania rebels 13,000 Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania militia

    10 regular army troops

    Casualties and losses

    3–4 killed

    170 captured[1] None; About 12 died from illness or in accidents[2]

    2 civilian casualties

    show vte Whiskey Rebellion

    The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a violent tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary War veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called "whiskey tax" was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. Beer was difficult to transport and spoiled more easily than rum and whiskey. Rum distillation in the United States had been disrupted during the Revolutionary War, and whiskey distribution and consumption increased after the Revolutionary War (aggregate production had not surpassed rum by 1791). The "whiskey tax" became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a "whiskey tax".[3] Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.

    Throughout Western Pennsylvania counties, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a US marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to taxβ€”in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law.[4] Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.[5]

    The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws, though the whiskey excise remained difficult to collect. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already under way. The whiskey tax was repealed in the early 1800s during the Jefferson administration. Historian Carol Berkin argues that the episode, in the long run, strengthened US nationalism because the people appreciated how well Washington handled the rebels without resorting to tyranny.[6]


    1 Whiskey tax

    2 Western grievances

    3 Resistance 4 Insurrection

    4.1 Battle of Bower Hill

    4.2 March on Pittsburgh

    4.3 Meeting at Whiskey Point

    4.4 Federal response

    4.4.1 Negotiations

    4.4.2 Militia expedition

    4.5 Aftermath 5 Legacy

    5.1 In popular culture

    6 See also 7 Notes 8 Bibliography 9 Further reading

    9.1 Sources from 1790s

    10 External links

    Whiskey tax

    Alexander Hamilton in a 1792 portrait by John Trumbull

    A new U.S. federal government began operating in 1789, following the ratification of the United States Constitution. The previous central government under the Articles of Confederation had been unable to levy taxes; it had borrowed money to meet expenses and fund the Revolutionary War, accumulating $54 million in debt. The state governments had amassed an additional $25 million in debt.[7] Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton sought to use this debt to create a financial system that would promote American prosperity and national unity. In his , he urged Congress to consolidate the state and national debts into a single debt that would be funded by the federal government. Congress approved these measures in June and July 1790.[8]

    Source : en.wikipedia.org

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