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Transcript of Whiskey Rebellion
By: Alex Alderdice, Meghan Carpenter, Lauren Clinkenbeard, Kaitlyn Darr, Belle Gulyas, Jennifer Ngo, Allyson Nugent, and Emily Pressler.
Summary of the event
The Whiskey Rebellion took place because congress passed a law to tax American made whiskey in March 1791. Grain farmers, specifically in Western Pennsylvania, complained the law was unfair because they believed they should be able to keep the money they made from a product they made themselves. This law was named the Excise Act, it was placed to cover the costs of the Revolutionary war to control the amount of Federal Debt.
Why does Washington believe it is important for the government to act?
What is Washington referring to when he says, "we may bid adieu to all government in this Country, except Mob and Club Govt."?
In Washington's view, once a law is passed by the Congress what is the responsibility of citizens?
According to Washington the consequences of taking no action are "nothing but anarchy and confusion". He said that within the confusion and anarchy the people's rights to life, liberty, and property can not be secure. Washington also states that the country's "peace and happiness" will depreciate if we are in a state of anarchy and confusion.
According to Washington, to what extent was Citizen Edmund Genet, the French ambassador, responsible for the discontent in western Pennsylvania?
Washington stated that Edmund Genet was a danger to the American standings in the war between France and Britain. At the moment America was neutral between both Britain and France.
Current Event Connection
Summary of Washington Writings
George Washington believed that the government needed to be strong. They could not let a minority of people take control.
Washington believed that citizens that are well conceived, or opinionated should be able to find faults in government and make their own decisions. But if citizens from a smaller part of a community protect the money arising from the tax then the citizens are truly accountable, and the spirit is used in the wrong way.
During protests involving Ferguson, protesters rallied together to fight for what they believed in. Some of the rallies involved violent actions which were stopped by police officers. This shows that the government took control of the situation, just as Washington had with the violent protestors.
According to Washington what are the consequences of taking no action?
Washington wrote to John Fitzgerald, he explained that
no small group should be able to dictate
the Federal government, if the government
is working for the common good. Washington
told Fitzgerald that it was his duty to carry out the law,
that he and 13,000 soldiers were traveling to
stop the violence and uprising in Pennsylvania.
Washington expressed in his letters that once
a law is passed by congress it is the citizens
job to upkeep the law and follow it.
In addition to Ferguson, Paris, France is another example of governments taking control of minorities. France will not allow terrorists control their freedom of speech. French citizens have proven that though the terrorists have killed people they won't stop speaking their thoughts. Recently there was a march in which 1 million + people came to show their support for Paris and those who were killed.
Washington is saying that people should not be uprising against the government for taxing the whiskey because they were the ones who elected the representatives that made these laws. They have to wait until later election to remove them from office.If people rebel about anything they don't like our democracy will fall apart. People will form groups or as Washington said "mob or club governments" which would lead to a state of nature where there would be no laws or rules.