The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution

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Overview


When President George Washington ordered an army of about 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he established a range of precedents that continue to define federal authority over localities today. The "Whiskey Rebellion" marked the first large-scale resistance to a law of the U.S. government under the Constitution and represented the first exercise of the internal police powers of the president. It was a classic confrontation between champions of liberty and defenders...
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Overview


When President George Washington ordered an army of about 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he established a range of precedents that continue to define federal authority over localities today. The "Whiskey Rebellion" marked the first large-scale resistance to a law of the U.S. government under the Constitution and represented the first exercise of the internal police powers of the president. It was a classic confrontation between champions of liberty and defenders of order, and was long considered the most significant event in the first quarter-century of the new nation. Thomas P. Slaughter recaptures the historical drama and significance of this violent episode in which frontier West and cosmopolitan East battled over the meaning of the American Revolution.
The story of the Whiskey Rebellion has previously been told from the top down, the bottom up, and from the frontier perspective. But never before has a historian recounted these events within the broader political, social, and intellectual contexts of the time, incorporating all these themes into one accessible narrative that reaches back as far as the 1750's for relevant contexts and forward into the nineteenth century and even the Civil War to explore the consequences of the rebellion. This book is the first to assess the rebellion's interregional tensions, international diplomacy, and much more. The book not only offers the broadest and most comprehensive account of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written, but also challenges conventional understandings of the Revolutionary era. It is a work of social, political, and intellectual history that makes a significant contribution to the the "new narrative history."
About the Author:
Thomas P. Slaughter is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University.

"A vivid account of how 7,000 rioting settlers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond opposed a Federal tax on liquor."--New York Times

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A vivid account of how 7,000 rioting settlers in western Pennsylvania and beyond opposed a Federal tax on liquor."—The New York Times

"In this year when Americans will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Constitution, [this] highly readable volume should provide much food for thought."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Slaughter restores the Whiskey Rebellion to its rightful place in our national history....Highly recommended."—Library Journal

"[Slaughter] succeeds admirably in his goal of bringing this episode in frontier history to center stage in American history."—William and Mary Quarterly

"A vivid picture of the squalor of life west of the mountains and the insensitivity of speculators, including Washington himself."—History Book Review

"Slaughter's book will be the standard for the next generation....[It] will certainly stand in the forefront as the standard complete interpretation for years to come."—West Virginia History

"An intelligent and thorough study which links the back country to broader...issues....Well-done."—M. Bellesiles, Emory University

"Insightful and well-written...excellent."—Delmer G. Ross, Loma Linda University

"An unusual combination of meticulous scholarship and engaging narrative. [Slaughter's] highly readable volume should provide much food for thought."—The Philadelphia Inquirer

"An important reexamintation of the meaning of the American Revolution. The text is written to engage as well as inform ensuring that students will actually learn from it."—Barbara M. Kelly, Hofstra University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195051919
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1988
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 226,508
  • Lexile: 1410L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.06 (w) x 5.38 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas P. Slaughter is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University

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