An excise tax is one levied on something produced, sold, and used in the United States. Excise taxes were bound to cause trouble. Rural United States, and most of it was rural in Hamilton's time, still held to the views of Daniel Shays and his followers. To have to pay excise was looked upon as a violation of the liberty for which the Revolution was fought. Hamilton recommended and Congress passed an excise tax on whiskey. This rubbed salt on a raw spot, for the corn farmers west of the Alleghenies had to change their corn into whiskey in order to transport it for miles without roads to market.

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