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How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1

there will be blood burning oil rig 205x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1How Whiskey Effects Us Every Day in Everything we Do: Part 1

By Matt Goldstein

After the Revolutionary war, America had a $75 million debt and U.S. treasurer Alexander Hamilton pressured President Washington to push the Whiskey Act through congress resulting in the first federal tax.  After the first tax collectors used violence to collect their fees, an uprising erupted called the Whiskey Rebellion.  Washington suited up, gathered an army bigger than the Continental Army that defeated the British, and squashed the Whiskey Rebellion.  This was the only time in history that a sitting U.S. President led troops into battle. 

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washington delaware pic 300x173 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1George Washington, President, General, Businessman and Whiskey Distiller

The Whiskey Rebellion gave President George Washington a grand business idea.  Whiskey Distilling!  If people were so enraged to start a war over whiskey, it must be profitable right?  After his presidency, Washington went onto operate one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the country.  George Washington’s distillery was one of the first and most successful liquors businesses in the country and the also one of the most profitable plantations in the country. 

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  • Whiskey shipping was also the main revenue for the early railroad system. 

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crescent moon star How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1Whiskey, Modern Science, Chemistry and the End of the Dark Ages

That’s right, whiskey making sparked modern chemistry, modern science and ended the Dark Ages.  During the Dark Ages, Islamic Arabic scientists perfected distillation through the scientific method, and created whiskey.  Whiskey making in the Islamic Arabic areas expanded to Europe and exploded.  This whiskey distillation explosion advanced modern science and modern chemistry in Europe and ended the Dark Ages.    

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Whiskey Proof Terminology

The term proof was invented when English sailors would test how good the whiskey was by burning it over gun powder.  If the flames went crazy then it was proven that the whiskey was good.  If the flames fizzled out without much flash, then there was no proof of a good whiskey bottle.   

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Meditating monk 283x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1English Monks and the Invention of Scotch whisky

When the Catholic Church refused to grant Henry the 8th a divorce from Catherin of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn, the alcoholic Henry the 8th ended all ties with the church and exiled many monks and priests.  These exiled Catholic Monks moved onto Scotland and began distilling whiskey for drinking. The monks then began to distill whiskey over a peat fire, thus inventing scotch. 

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The English Whiskey Tax and the Invention of Roads 

A Whiskey tax by the English sparked a violent uprising in Scotland.  Sound familiar?  Of course, England then invaded Scotland.  Because the land of Scotland was so difficult to navigate and move their army, the English began building roads to maneuver the troops.  These roads were so successful that they spread to America and built the first road system in the United States.  This style of road making then expanded throughout the world. 

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there will be blood burning oil rig 205x300 How Whiskey Made America, Gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires, The Space Age, Federal Taxes, Ended the Dark Ages & Saved the Whales: Part 1How Whiskey gave us Fossil Fuels, Industrial Empires and Saved the Whales

In the 1800’s, whales were being decimated for their blubber oil, which was an early source for fuel, heat and light for lamps.  The largest mammal on earth was facing extinction as the demand for blubber oil grew and grew. 

Around this time, salt mine owner Samuel Kier was getting extremely annoyed that this oily type substance kept leaking into his salt mine and ruining the salt.  It was costing Kier and many salt mines a lot of money.  One day, Kier took the curious oil, which was actually crude oil, and put it in his whiskey distillery.  When the oil was distilled, it became petroleum, our first fossil fuel.  The birth of oil distillation created industrial empires and gave birth to the modern mechanical age.   

The birth of crude oil in commercial use eradicated the demand for whale blubber oil and whale hunting was reduced to a minimum.  The levels of whale hunting have since been relatively sustainable for our largest and very treasured mammal.  Of course, the discovery of oil lead to many deadly wars, global warming and might actually run out because of our insatiable appetites for Cadillac’s and SUVs, but hey, we can always use whiskey to drink our problems away.   

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Part 2 Coming Soon:  Whiskey and America, The Model T, Ethanol, the Space Age, and the First Man on the Moon…

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Source: How Whiskey Made America by Planet Green

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