217 years ago today, President George Washington called for the mobilization of 13,000 militia men against a group of insurgent western Pennsylvania farmers, an event that came to be known as the Whiskey Rebellion. The conflict was rooted in what else -- taxes! In general people in what was then the western frontier of the United States were dissatisfied with some of the policies of their new government, but it was the 1791 excise tax on whiskey levied to help fund the national debt that finally set off them off. Western PA was still the "frontier" back then, and cash to pay taxes with was hard to come by in what was primarily a barter economy. Not only that, but smaller producers were taxed at a higher rate than the large producers - which left western PA farmers frustrated and enraged.
You can explore the history of the Whiskey Rebellion at historic sites in the area, such as Woodville, the former home of tax inspector General John Neville in Bridgeville (his other home was burned in the Whiskey Rebellion); the Bradford House in Washington County (David Bradford was a Whiskey Rebellion leader); and Albert Gallatin's house (he was Secretary of the Treasury for Presidents Jefferson and Madison), now the Friendship Hill National Historic Site.