The Whiskey Rebellion''' was the refusal of farmers in western Pennsylvania in the 1790s to pay federal taxes of 6 to 9 cents a gallon on the whiskey the produced for market. The tax on whiskey was pushed by Secretary of Treasury [[Alexander Hamilton]] in 1791, to help pay the national debt. Farmers grew corn, which was too bulky to ship to markets, so they distilled it into whiskey, which was easy to ship in barrels. The American backcountry in the 1790s was intensely individualistic and resented the way the new government interfered in their business. Other grievances against the government included the failure to open the Mississippi River to navigation (so they could ship whiskey to New Orleans), the disasters of the Indian wars in Ohio, the high prices of land, arduous and ill-paid militia duty, scarcity of specie, and the creation of a salaried official class.