The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution
When President George Washington ordered an army of about 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he ... Show synopsis When President George Washington ordered an army of about 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he established a range of precedents that continue to define federal authority over localities today. The "Whiskey Rebellion" marked the first large-scale resistance to a law of the U.S. government under the Constitution and represented the first exercise of the internal police powers of the president. It was a classic confrontation between champions of liberty and defenders of order, and was long considered the most significant event in the first quarter-century of the new nation. Thomas P. Slaughter recaptures the historical drama and significance of this violent episode in which frontier West and cosmopolitan East battled over the meaning of the American Revolution. The story of the Whiskey Rebellion has previously been told from the top down, the bottom up, and from the frontier perspective. But never before has a historian recounted these events within the broader political, social, and intellectual contexts of the time, incorporating all these themes into one accessible narrative that reaches back as far as the 1750's for relevant contexts and forward into the nineteenth century and even the Civil War to explore the consequences of the rebellion. This book is the first to assess the rebellion's interregional tensions, international diplomacy, and much more. The book not only offers the broadest and most comprehensive account of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written, but also challenges conventional understandings of the Revolutionary era. It is a work of social, political, and intellectual history that makes a significant contribution to the the "new narrative history." About the Author: Thomas P. Slaughter is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.