Similarities Between 1798 Alien And Sedition Acts Dbq

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1798 Alien and Sedition Acts
In 1798 United States was in crisis. The government feared foreigners coming into the country, causing threats towards the safety and peace of the US. Agents from France took US ships and demanded bribes in order to talk to US officials. The congress and citizens were angered and violence erupted between France and US. As a result opponents and supporters argue about whether the decisions of the government were reasonable. Supporters of the French cause started to go against the President and question his actions. In fear of people undermining President Adams power, he places the Alien and Sedition Acts to protect himself. Federalists and Republicans argued weather these laws were to protect the country or to go …show more content…

“And in case any alien, so ordered to depart, shall be found at large within the United States after the time limited in such order for his departure, and not having obtained a license from the President to reside therein, or having obtained such license shall not have conformed thereto, every such alien shall, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years, and shall never after be admitted to become a citizen of the US”(Excerpts from the Alien and Sedition Acts). This statement meant that once the alien was given the punishment and after they have served their time they shall be able to live free in the US, but only if they have gotten a license from President Adams to stay in the US. Any Alien who was ordered to depart has to satisfy the president that there will be no danger or injury to the US if the alien wants to live in the US. The President will judge whether to provide a license to the alien if he finds it that they are not a threat to the US, and he will chose for how long and the area the alien must stay. (Transition sentence) The Sedition Act allowed the US government to give consequences to anyone who goes against the government. Congress did not want any foreigners or citizens to be able to say anything negative …show more content…

The Sedition Act had gotten Democratic-Republicans angered, they saw this law as a threat towards the citizens. The act violated Democratic-Republicans of the Federalists policies and they believed that the guarantee of freedom of speech had been taken away from them. Democratic-Republicans passed the Virginia and Kentucky Resolution, this policy declared that the Alien and Sedition Act not valid. “They protested against the “alarming infractions of the Constitution,” particularly the freedom of speech that “has been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.” Virginia even claimed that states had a right to nullify any powers exercised by the federal government that were not explicitly granted to it” (Lewis and Hewitt 230). Federalists argued that it is necessary to protect the country and to keep the citizens safe of threats. “Newspaper editors and politicians favorable to France blasted him with intemperate language that his supporters feared that the United States could be pushed to the brink of civil war. Federalists in Congress tried to muffle the opposition by criminalizing seditious words, believing it to be the only way to preserve the country”(The Crisis Of 1798: Sedition Document). Congress decided it was the best way to keep away from a civil war and to defend the President from Sedition activities towards him and the

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