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Alexander Hamilton - the Whiskey Rebellion

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Alexander Hamilton - the Whiskey Rebellion

November 17, 2005

History 110

Textbook Mid-Term

Part I: D-

The Whiskey Rebellion was a series of violent upheavals led by farmers; in

resistance against the excise tax on whiskey. The tax on whiskey was sponsored by the secretary of the treasure Alexander Hamilton. And this new tax greatly impacted the area of Western Pennsylvania because this was the chief whiskey producing regions of the country. This new tax outraged many farmers in this area since a large majority of the grain farmers were also distillers of whiskey. These grain farmers depended on whiskey for almost all there income so this tax was a huge burden on their economic well-being. These farmers took the law into there own hands and began protesting by tarring and feathering of federal revenue officials. Federal authorities began to realize something had to be done to stop these violent farmers. So as a result warrants were issued for the arrest of a large number of distillers who were avoiding the tax. This sparked a riot were a federal officer was killed, and a mob burned down the home of the regional inspector of the excise. These events got the attention of President George Washington so he ordered militia to march into western Pennsylvania and arrest mob members on October 14, 1794.

The most significant result from the Whiskey Rebellion is people gained confidence in the new federal government which acted with readiness to make decisions and act with firmness. Government was ready to put their foot down on rebels and to make a classic point to the newly founded nation that behavior like this would not be tolerated and or accepted. Washington and Hamilton had to flex there muscles by marching 13,000 troops into western Pennsylvania to prove to the rest of the nation that they would respond to with force. The Government did not overreact because if they didn't respond as strongly or quickly they would have encouraged outbreaks in other western areas where distillers were avoiding the tax.

Part 1: C-

In 1798, four consecutive bills passed to become official laws, these laws were called the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Naturalization Act wanted to change the number of years it took for a United States residence required for naturalization. This law wanted a longer waiting period which would be changed to fourteen years instead of the current 5 year waiting period. The next act was called the Alien Act, and these new laws gave the president power to arrest and deport any person who was considered dangerous. Following this Act was the Alien Enemies Act, this act is similar to the Alien Act but this act could legally let the government deport you if you had any ties with foreign countries that were at war with the United States. Lastly the Sedation Act made it illegal to print or publish false, malicious or scandalous information about the U.S. government, the president, or Congress. Penalties you could expect for committing one of these crimes was severe and included imprisonment for up to five years and fines around 5,000 dollars.

The Naturalization and Alien Acts were passed and aimed to target Irish immigrants and French refugees who had a part in putting down the Adams administration through political activism. The Sedition Act which was passed to shut up newspaper editors who supported the Republican Party and who were also immigrants and refugees. The Sedition Act went against the freedom of speech clause in the Declaration of Independence. Come to find out the true intent of this law was too silence and obstruct the Republican Party during the presidential election of 1800. It is quite alarming to think our early Federalist party was willing to invade and disrupt the nation's civil liberties to ultimately win a presidential election!

The most important opponents of the Alien and Sedition Acts were they Republican Party leaders. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison saw through the lies The Federalist party was feeding to the public. So they drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 which protested that these acts were federal violations of civil liberties and federal restrictions on the freedom of the press clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This action of the Republican Party was significant because it meant that the states had enough power to end federal laws. The Federalist Party plans to silence the competition completely back fired on them. The Alien and Sedition Acts were widely unpopular and played a major role in both the downfall of the Federalist Party and the election of Jefferson for president in 1800.

Part 2: section B-

During

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