When President George Washington ordered an army of 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he established a range of precedents that continues 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. This classic confrontation between champions of liberty and defenders of order 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 book not only offers the broadest and most comprehensive account of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written, taking into account the political, social and intellectual contexts of the time, but also challenges conventional understandings of the Revolutionary era.