Only this time Washington was not striking out against the British butrather against fellow Americans. The occasion for this was the Whiskey Rebellion. Various efforts had been made to diminish the heated opposition towards the taxon distilled liquors. However, there was only one man who has derived the bestcourse of action. That man, President George Washington, deserves all the creditand recognition for his actions concerning the Whiskey Rebellion. In September 1791 the western counties of Pennsylvania broke out inrebellion against a federal excise tax on the distillation of liquor.
Afterlocal and federal officials were attacked, President Washington and his advisorsdecided to send troops to assuage the region. On August 14, 1792, under themilitia law, Henry Knox (secretary of war) had called for 12,950 troops. Afterthis, many problems arose, both political and logistical. These dilemmas had tobe overcome, and by October, 1794 the men were on the march towards Harrisburg,Pennsylvania.
There, they contained the mob hysteria and anger. This eventrepresented the first use of the Militia Law of 1792 enabling the militia to execute the laws of the union, and suppress insurrection (The Whiskey Rebellionof Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1). It is clear that George Washington was the source of success in theWhiskey Rebellion. When the militia, with Washington and Hamilton at its lead,reached western Pennsylvania, it became clear that there would be no armedresistance.
Evidence of Washington’s leadership in this rebellion took placewhen the Representatives of the insurgents asked for clemency, and Washingtongranted it with stipulation that they comply with federal laws thereafter (ThePrecipice of Power). This agreement forced the public to abide by the rules ofthe government and their taxes without any destructive rebellions. It wasevident that Alexander Hamilton was not the backbone of this success. Hisactions provided undeniable proof to Republicans that Hamilton was a monster whowould stop at nothing to defend his corrupt policies, a budding Caesar bent onestablishing monarchy (A Biography of Alexander Hamilton). Hamilton did notcare as much about the success of his government but of himself and his beliefson the nation. Furthermore, Hamilton was planning on resigning, hence making itcrucial to him to entrench the policies he had put into place.
For theremainder of his life Hamilton worried that his work would be destroyed, hissystem dismantled, under the opposition (The Precipice of Power). President George Washington played a key role in the opposition betweenthe mob and the militia. He deserves the credit for creating and maintainingpeace among the people, and carrying out the mission without one shot fired. Hamilton, on the other hand, put his interests ahead of the problem at task,hence, forcing Washington to come up with a logical solution.
Had it not beenfor Washington’s courage and kindness, the militia might well have followed thelead of the French Rebels, and destroyed the country.