The Whiskey Rebellion was a revolt that was brought into existence by the formation of an excise tax on whiskey in order to pay off the debts of the Revolutionary War. That doesn't sound too bad unless you're a farmer during the late 1700s who grows grains for a living. Because it was often difficult to sell leftover grains in such a form, farmers would distill it into whiskey (especially Western farmers who needed to traverse rough terrain like mountains). Whiskey was a sort of lesser currency, sometimes even used to pay labourers or other such petty folk. When the whiskey tax came into effect, those who lived far from town or in areas with less than ideal travelling conditions found that they couldn't compete with more fortunate farmers. Those who weren't rich enough to be paid in actual money in the first place now received even less because they were being taxed on their income in a sense. Farmers responded with vandalism, the tarring and feathering of tax collectors, and soon, violence. Things got so out of hand, President Washington himself led an army of nearly 13,000 men to Pennsylvania, where a few of the ringleaders and more violent protesters were taken prisoner but released a few months later. The significance of this relatively swift federal action (and that the President should get involved in the matter) set a precedent for future quarrels. The people won their freedom after the Revolutionary War; the government had debts to pay and it was the duty of the people to help pay for their independence. The authority of the government may at times be taken into question, which is why the United States is a democracy, but under no circumstances should any disgruntled peoples act in the violent and unmannerly way those during the Whiskey Rebellion did.