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Literature: “The Wilderness Boy” by Margery Evernden Essay

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Updated: Mar 22nd, 2020

The ‘Wilderness Boy’ is a historical book wrote to bring into picture the consequences of the Revolution. It takes place in the eighteenth century specifically during colonial North America. Margery tries to bring out the conflicts a young boy faces when he is forced into adulthood that has wars all over at only the age of sixteen.

He has to decide on which side to be on, but the activities that transpired influenced his decisions. The book enlightens the young scholars on the early days of their country’s struggle to fight injustices. It highlights Jonathan’s experiences during the Whiskey Rebellion as well as the time he was being spoilt for choice between the Federalist and the Revolutionary factions.

The storyline is set in Pennsylvania, the southern part of Pittsburg in Washington Province. It is about a young boy called Garret Jonathan and occurred in fiscal 1794. The young Jonathan is a lonely boy who lives with his uncle, Dr. Garret Daniel. From the book, Dr. Garret is both a conservative and a doctor.

While Jonathan is sent on an errand through his uncle Dr. Garret, he rides through the province and comes across a group of farmers who are putting up a liberty pole. That pole marks the beginning of an adventure that makes a difference to his allies, family, and freedom. The farmers ask him to join the revolution that was followed by the Whiskey Rebellion, and various events started taking place.

The Whiskey Revolution is a levy protest initiated through farmers aggravated by the taxation imposed on refined brews. It was a way Hamilton Alexander gained money to pay the war debt that occurred at the time of the Revolutionary War. The agrarians from the Western boundaries disagreed with the imposition of such levies since they became used to refining the harvested corns and other grains to the renowned spirits. As a result, the farmers were fighting against the local taxation given that they were hardly locally represented. The government, on the other hand, insisted that the taxes were imposed founded on the law.

Jonathan found himself in a fix as to whether to support the rebellion or not. However, his uncle, Dr. Garret is rancorously against the Rebellion and is worried about its uprising while his beloved uncle named McClintock Lachlan is one of the rebellion leaders. Jonathan has great respect for his uncle and does not want to offend him.

On the other side, Jonathan sees the plight of freedom when he is engaged in the rebellion. In return, Jonathan decides to side fully with the rebels and takes part in their activities and their plight for freedom, but with a lot of caution.

Given that the farmers hardly saw President Washington addressing their issues and giving their plight no consideration, they decided to become more violent. These farmers decided to use violence and intimidated the officials so that they evade paying tax. When the violence was too much for the government to handle, the U.S marshal was sent to give court orders to those who had not paid tax. The action caused the farmers to attack the home of a tax inspector.

In an effort to curb the situation, militiamen were provided causing the rebels to retreat home. The resulting effect was a loss to their course of action while some of them were arrested with Lachlan being one of them. He was imprisoned for treason and had to wait for what was to transpire thereafter. During this time, the principles of taxation had been clearly defined, and Jonathan together with Dr. Garret was able to convince the government for his release.

The Whiskey Rebellion took some time but lost its intended course. However, those involved in the rebellion were aware that they could fight to be given their rights. Besides, it showed that the new government could propose and enact laws even with rebellion at hand.

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