Patrick Callaway, University of Maine, Ph.D. Student
After the implementation of the Constitution in 1788 and the election of George Washington to the presidency, two of most significant challenges facing the new Republic was the necessity of implementing a system of taxation in order to fund the new national government and enforcing its authority over more localized sources of political power. Any new scheme of taxation would inevitably cause friction between local interests and federal authorities as the power of the new nation to regulate economic activity was exercised. Resistance of some variety was almost a certainty. Dispersing this resistance was a necessity for the effectual administration of any federal tax laws; this process ultimately relied on the ability of the federal government to compel obedience to federal laws, no matter what local interests were impacted. The means to compel the required obedience were often military in nature as the new government lacked any other means of coercion. Read More.