The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794. The so-called “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. It was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution. Protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent officials from collecting the tax.
Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already under way.