Synopses & Reviews
When President George Washington ordered an army of 13,000 men to march west in 1794 to crush a tax rebellion among frontier farmers, he established a range of precedents that continues 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. This classic confrontation between champions of liberty and defenders of order 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 book not only offers the broadest and most comprehensive account of the Whiskey Rebellion ever written, taking into account the political, social and intellectual contexts of the time, but also challenges conventional understandings of the Revolutionary era.
"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
About the Author
Thomas P. Slaughter
is Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University