Happy Whiskey Tax Day! "Celebrate as you see fit."
March 3, 2006 5:19 AM   Subscribe

You can have my bottle when you pry it from my flaccid, passed-out fingers. Happy Liquor Tax Day! On this day in 1791, the 1st Congress passed "An act making farther provision for the collection of the duties by law imposed on teas, and to prolong the term for the payment of the duties on wines." The brain child of founding Federalist and that guy on the ten-dollar bill, Alexander Hamilton, it led to the second of many (mostly forgotten) popular uprisings in U.S. history. Special thanks for inspiration to dios and Rough_Ashlar.
posted by lodurr (10 comments total)
Funny how fast the founding fathers went from complaining about tyrants to acting like tyrants.

The drinking insurgency continues unabated.
posted by three blind mice at 6:13 AM on March 3, 2006

The drinking insurgency continues unabated.

[squints menacingly /] You gotta problem with that, bub?
posted by lodurr at 7:19 AM on March 3, 2006

So the American rebellion over taxes became the American revolution, which morphed into the American government, which imposed a tax to pay for the revolution, causing another rebellion?

I guess booze is inherently revolutionary.
posted by Operation Afterglow at 8:07 AM on March 3, 2006

Not to mention (self-link.)
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:24 AM on March 3, 2006

I suspect that the Whiskey tax was less about drinking, and more about Hamilton's economic vision favoring costal cities as the economic powerhouses of the U.S.. Transportation out of the interior was hard, so settlers needed trade goods that offered a reasonably high price for their volume and weight. Whiskey also didn't spoil, or get infested with vermin. So whiskey producers had a product that could be sold in New York City, exported to Europe and Africa, or swapped as part of the fur trade.

Another possible intent of this was to reduce tensions on the frontier by making it less profitable to move westward.

It is interesting that the Whiskey Tax involved many the same actions that led to the Declaration of Independence: a nation burdened with war debts invoking taxes that threaten a growing economy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:43 AM on March 3, 2006

You gotta problem with that, bub?

Join with me, lodurr. Together with the insurgents of Al Cohol we will rid the world of non-drinking infidels.
posted by three blind mice at 8:46 AM on March 3, 2006

Where do we sign up to form cells for Al Cohol?
posted by rand at 9:38 AM on March 3, 2006

I formed some cells in my barin, but Al Cohol killed them all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:16 AM on March 3, 2006

If you're ever in Carlisle, PA (home of Dickinson College) you can see the site and buildings from which Washington set out West to quell the rebellion (not too far from Gettysburg for the full-on American historical experience).

Not to be confused with Shay's Rebellion (1786), which prompted Jefferson to write Madison "A little rebellion now and then is a good thing."

Neat post. Nice to know people had their priorities straight back then.
posted by bardic at 11:11 AM on March 3, 2006

Neat stuff.
posted by klangklangston at 4:27 PM on March 3, 2006

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