Why Whiskey & Gunpowder… And Why Now?
“Our own local rebellion for Independence nearly 200 years later had a much, much higher body count. By the end of it, this country’s founders got this government thing as right as any human ever had. They came up with a Constitution that’s purpose was to limit government’s reach into the life of the governed.
We only wish that Constitution hadn’t been continually ignored almost immediately after that.
The fledgling and recently united states had massive debts by the end of the Revolutionary War. The new centralized government assumed these debts, but it didn’t have any honest way to pay them off. Governments, you see, don’t actually have any money of their own; they steal it from their productive private citizens or borrow it into existence from their central banks.
Alexander Hamilton hadn’t convinced Congress to charter a central bank yet…so he instead convinced it to tax whiskey, which had become commodity money in the far reaches of the frontier.
The tax resulted in protest and revolt. Gen. Washington got back on his horse and led federal forces to Pittsburgh to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. For the first time under the new United States Constitution, the federal government used military force to impose its will over U.S. citizens.
The Constitution itself was a compromise between the much more government-restraining Articles of Confederation and the desire by some (like that Scottish bastard Hamilton) who wanted a stronger centralized government. Government would eventually break the Constitution’s boundaries anyway and ooze its way into every aspect of citizens’ lives. In truth, the process started before the ink on the new Constitution had dried.”