Whiskey 221 ~ October 1794, Part 1 of 3
The Whiskey Rebellion 1791-94: Western Pennsylvania
George Washington was no Napoleon Bonaparte and Napoleon was no George; they were men of the same era yet not the same men: Napoleon an Emperor and the only one – Washington a president and only one of many.
The French Republic (1792-1804) wasn’t quiet. They had this thing called the Reign of Terror from September 1793 to July 1794: they killed the aristocracy, or anyone not with the new times. The guillotining ended (mostly) yet the French never recovered; in 1799 General Napoleon used force (the army) to take down the French Republic; in 1804, Napoleon crowned himself Emperor.
The American Republic (1789-to present) was quiet by comparison. For example, we had no Reign of Terror in dealing with non-compliance (rebellion) in our Whiskey Rebellion of 1791-94 (no guillotining); there was just a bit of rioting and outright lawlessness happening in the western hills of Pennsylvania. The rebellious citizens didn’t want to pay a whiskey tax; President Washington asked Congress for guidance; they said something had to be done, so President Washington called on the state militias for federal support.
What would Napoleon have done? He was fond of promising one thing and doing the opposite; he probably would have said something nice and then sent in the cannon and bayonets. America chose otherwise, a quiet and strong approach to domestic tranquility, one based on representing We the People in Congress according to our numbers – something a Napoleon (would be dictator) would find incomprehensible.
Next Up: Part two of Whiskey221, Saturday 17 October, with more about our American Republic, representation and whiskey rebels.
Posted by Bryan W. Brickner