It all started with a tax. What came to be known as the Whiskey Rebellion of 1794, or the Western Insurrection, took place over a period of time beginning in 1791 by most accounts. While some would say the roots go back much further, it was not until March 3, 1791 that Congress instituted an excise tax on distilled liquors that set the rebellion of 1794 in motion.
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Famous Whiskey Insurrection in Pennsylvania. A large mob with tarred-and-feathered tax collector riding on a rail. 1794.
Prints & Photographs Division
Library of Congress
Reproduction number: LC-USZ62-75625