The Whiskey Tax, imposed in 1791, was the first federal tax on a domestic product by a United States government. It was introduced by Alexander Hamilton to pay the interest on war bonds that had been issued to wealthy backers of the the American Revolution. But many Whiskey distillers in Western Pennsylvania refused to pay a tax that would only benefit a few rich bond holders. Over the course of three years, there were attacks on federal and local tax collectors and the region became a law unto itself. A situation only suppressed, as William Hogeland tells Don, by President George Washington gathering together a militia of 12,000 men and marching to Western Pennsylvania
Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.