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Rum Rebellion


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(1808)

A revolt in Australia, when colonists and officers of the New South Wales Corps (later known as the Rum Corps because of its involvement in the rum trade) overthrew Governor William Bligh. It was fuelled by Bligh's drastic methods of limiting the rum traders' powers and his attempts to end the domination of the officer clique, while an immediate cause was the arrest of the sheep-breeder John Macarthur in his role as liquor merchant and distiller. The officers induced the commander, Major George Johnston, to arrest Bligh as unfit for office. When Governor Macquarie took office in 1810, the Corps was recalled, George Johnston was court-martialled in England and cashiered in 1811. Bligh, although exonerated, was removed from office.

Subjects: World History — Literature.


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