Be Washington: The Whiskey Rebellion

This page provides resources accompanying the Be Washington: The Whiskey Rebellion Affair scenario. It contains primary and secondary sources on the Whiskey Rebellion as well as helpful teaching materials. Use these resources to aid the Be Washington gameplay, learn more about Washington's presidency, and find useful learning materials!

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a supporter of the Whiskey Tax, believing that the federal government must have a way to raise funds. Read more about Hamilton's life and his role in Washington's cabinet.

Read about Hamilton
Whiskey Production

Whiskey Production

Many Western Pennsylvania farmers relied on whiskey production for income. When the whiskey tax came, they felt personally affected. Read more about the process of distilling whiskey, and why Washington took an interest in it himself.

Read about Whiskey Production

The Whiskey Rebellion

1791
1802
Tax on whiskey is passed
Violent outbreaks occur
Tax is revised
Violence occurs again
Washington takes action
A second term
Washington's second proclamation
Congress modifies the tax
The militia attacks
Washington sends evidence
Peace Commission
A militia is sent
Washington's third proclamation
Excise tax is repealed

March 3, 1791

Tax on whiskey is passed

Congress approves the excise tax on distilled spirits.

Violent outbreaks occur

Discontent and tension increase to the point of a violent outbreak against tax collectors in Washington and Alleghany Counties in Pennsylvania.

Tax is revised

Congress revises the excise tax. The revision reduces the tax rate and allows monthly payments.

Violence occurs again

Protestors threaten violence again, and a committee forms to discuss strategies to repeal the tax.

Washington takes action

Washington releases another proclamation in hopes of quelling the violence in Pennsylvania.

A second term

Washington begins his second presidential term.

Washington's second proclamation

Washington issues another presidential proclamation in hopes of settling rioters in Pennsylvania.

Congress modifies the tax

Congress modifies the excise tax again to allow the state to conduct trials for violators.

The militia attacks

The Mingo Creek Militia attacks John Neville’s property and suffers 5 casualties.

Washington sends evidence

Washington, in accordance with the 1792 Militia Act, sends evidence to Associate Supreme Court Justice James Wilson to review if military force is warranted.

Peace Commission

Washington sends a peace commission to Pennsylvania.

A militia is sent

At Washington’s request, Hamilton issues orders for Governor Henry Lee of Virginia to take command of the militia force that comprises of 15,000 men.

Washington's third proclamation

Washington issues another presidential proclamation justifying the use of military force.

Excise tax is repealed

Congress repeals the excise tax, much to the delight of western farmers.

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