UNITED STATES, The Wars of the. As generally regarded, the United States is rated as one of the most peaceable nations in the world, the idea being that during the 145 years of its existence it has participated in but six great wars, in all of which, parenthetically, it has been victorious. Notwithstanding the gen eral credence given to this statement, it is far from being in accord with history, for, as a matter of fact, scarcely a year has passed in which either the army or the navy has not been called upon to do battle for the country. After 1900, it is true, the unpleasantness in the Philip pines and outlawry on the Mexican border were the only discordant elements, but, prior to that, there were the labor disturbances; the Indian wars and massacres and a dozen other factors that kept the United States forces almost con stantly engaged in warfare of a more or less consequential character. At times, of course, some of the disturbances were little more than riots, but there were other events which seem to have been quite as thoroughly forgotten by the ordinary reader of history, but which in every respect deserve a place in the catalogue of wars. In fact the War of the Revolution had scarcely commenced when the colonists were compelled to meet the attacks of the In dians who, inspired by the English, instituted an incessant border warfare against the whites; a warfare of brutality which culminated in the bloody massacres in Wyoming Valley, Pa., and Clinton, N. Y.
The Shays' first armed and organized rebellion against the conduct of political affairs in the United States, however, occurred in Massachusetts in 1786, when Daniel Shays organized the dissatisfied faction in the community into an armed and determined force of malcontents. The cause of this early trouble was largely a financial one. Solid money was still scarce, with paper money practically worth less, and yet affairs were at such a state that debts contracted upon a paper basis were pressed for payment in solid money. As this
was a period when men were imprisoned for debt, such conditions were held to be almost usurious in their effect and the orderly meetings of protest which were at first held soon de veloped into violent assemblages. In August the tide of dissatisfaction had become so strong that uprisings occurred in many parts of the State; courthouses were seized and courts were prevented from sitting; the governor announced his determination to put down the rebellion and there were several engagements between the in surgents and the volunteer forces of the State. At last, in February 1787, General Lincoln sur prised the rebels at Petersham, where, after a decisive engagement, they were dispersed.
The Whisky The announce ment that the Federal government had assumed the right to levy an excise tax was the cause of the insurrection in Pennsylvania which is now commonly referred to as the °Whisky Rebel lion? The act, which was passed in May 1792, was strenuously opposed on political grounds, the argument against it being that it was dan gerous to the doctrine of individual liberty. In the four western counties of Pennsylvania whisky was a staple product, and, aside from its political aspect, the people felt that such a tax was an unjust discrimination against that region. The attempts to enforce the law were resisted with violence, therefore, and all citizens who advocated conformity to the law, or who quietly conformed to it were subjected to vari ous kinds of ill-treatment by their neighbors. To further inflame the spirit of opposition in cendiary posters, all signed,°Tom the Tinker;° were displayed in all directions and there was rioting and bloodshed in many places. In this emergency, President Adams assumed control of the situation and sent 13,000 troops upon Parkinson's Ferry in time to receive the peace overtures of the rebels. They were not ac cepted, however, and many arrests were made.