Talk:Whiskey Rebellion

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Ford and other criticisms[edit]

I think we should pause to remember that Ford was both the head of government and almost two centuries removed from the Whiskey Rebellion. Is it possible that he, as president of the entity that the rebels were revolting against, has a conflict of interest here? What makes Ford's opinion more relevant than the people alive at the time? This suggests, to me at least, a devaluation of popular opinion during the immediate post-revolutionary period of American history. (Also the "Founding Fathers" were wealthy oligarchs who distrusted universal suffrage out of class interest, so it would be hard to argue that they represented the interests of the common people.)

Like, the rebels weren't rebelling merely because they didn't like being taxed, there were genuine grievances at play during the revolt. Just look at the Wikipedia section on the issue. I think you're downplaying the legitimate grievances the rebels had.

The same cannot be said about the whiskey tax, which was imposed not through foreign decree but by a democratically elected legislative body, that being the United States Congress,[11] with 62% of the House of Repersentives[12] and sixty one percent of the Senate[13] supporting the end result. Regardless of what one feels about the tax itself, it is undeniable that this is nothing like the system the colonists opposed when the British ruled over them.

Also, it's questionable if the early republic was genuinely a "democracy," as the electorate was limited to property owning males at the time, which is by default a limited electorate. So you have to question just how democratic or representative such a system was. What were the interests of the electorate at the time, as well as the interests of those in the Congress?

For context, the Whiskey tax was regressive in nature. One grievance was that poor farmers in Pennsylvania were forced to pay a tax that the wealthy didn't. The tax also benefited large distillers at the expense of poor farmers, who also often used whiskey as a currency. I think you'd be hard pressed to say that this tax was in the interests of these poor farmers (if it was they wouldn't have revolted). Carthage (talk) 06:05, 24 February 2024 (UTC)

You aren't wrong, but the section in question was specifically responding to a libertarian criticism of the actions done by the Washington Administration. As for why I quoted Ford, I simply thought it was a good quote that expressed the issue with the criticism being responded to. Although I don't disagree with you that Ford has a conflict of interest, that alone doesn't make him wrong.--Ephrom (talk) 14:53, 24 February 2024 (UTC)