On October 16, 1794, President George Washington called on the militia at Fort Cumberland, Maryland, to suppress a rebellion in western Pennsylvania. The conflict was precipitated by the 1792 excise laws regarding the sale of distilled spirits. The Scotch-Irish immigrants who made their living from the sale and barter of whiskey deemed the laws discriminatory, and their protests turned into full-scale riots. Upon Washington’s arrival to review his troops, the resistance vanished. The episode went down in history as one of the crucial early tests of centralized government and as a reminder of Washington’s power.