Boyalik for In that year, he also confronted a domestic challenge by skillfully subduing the revolt against a federal excise tax on whiskey by Pennsylvania farmers. Balancing deference to the popular will and governmental authority, Washington first sent in commissioners to negotiate with the rebels. By the time he ordered 13,000 militia men into action, the Whiskey Rebellion was all but over, and no violence was necessary. Washington showed similar diplomacy in straddling the growing rift within his administration between supporters of Hamilton and a faction, led by James MADISON and Thomas JEFFERSON, over Hamilton’s policies and the United States’ stance on the FRENCH REVOLUTION. As the first party system, comprising Federalists and Republicans, coalesced, Washington identified with the Federalists. But he retained his distaste for partisan politics, which he believed indicated the demise of civic virtue, and remained a largely neutral arbiter in the political wrangling of the era. Disillusioned with the bitter party battles that had developed by 1796, Washington chose to retire rather than run for re-election. Boyalik 2016.