Albert Gallatin And The Whiskey Rebellion

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Albert Gallatin and the Whiskey Rebellion

In 1791, Congress passed a whiskey tax, which taxed the producers of whiskey and other alcohol anywhere from six to eighteen cents per gallon. This was put into place in order to repay some of the national debt. All taxes were to be paid to a Federal revenue officer who was appointed to each individual county where the producer lived. This was a problem for a lot of people especially in the western counties. The tax was to be paid in cash which was rare for the western famers to have. If they failed to comply with this tax, they were to appear in a federal court, not a state court. These federal courts were sometimes 300 miles away. The western farmers were upset about this tax because the money made form it would support a government that didn’t represent the states well. They saw it as the government not caring about the
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At a meeting in 1794, Gallatin pushed for a more peaceful approach to opposing the Whiskey tax. He was responsible for convincing most of the rebels to submit to the law, which in return gave them a pardon for past offenses when they promised good conduct in the future. With hopes of stopping the Whiskey Rebellion, President Washington sent Federal troops there with a list of people to arrest, some of which were thought to have organized and led the Whiskey Rebellion. Albert Gallatin was one of those men on the list. Not having any proof of his involvement or leadership of this rebellion, Gallatin was not arrested. Gallatin went on to hold the position of Secretary of the Treasury under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison for thirteen years. He was heavily involved, if not responsible for reducing the national debt and was against internal taxes. Gallatin would have been considered a strict constructionist because he believed that the less involvement the government had, the better. He also recommended that the First Bank of the United States be re-chartered, insisting that it could help stabilize the economy. It was not renewed therefore Gallatin had a hard time funding the War of 1812, which led him to reintroduce the taxes he had been opposed to before. After he resigned from his position, Gallatin was
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