Alien & Sedition acts by t69qWoW

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									            Alien &
         Sedition acts

                                                   President John Adams

                The controversial foreign policy of the Federalists prompted
                      domestic protest and governmental repression.

Presentation created by Robert Martinez
Primary Source Content: America’s History
Images as cited.
 As the U.S. fought an undeclared
   maritime war against France,
 immigrants from Ireland attacked
Adams’s pro-British foreign policy.

To silence the critics, the Federalists
 controlled Congress enacted three
   coercive laws that threatened
 individual rights and the fledgling
            party system.

 The Naturalization Act lengthened
   the residency requirement for
 American citizenship – and so the
right to vote – from five to fourteen

The Alien Act authorized the
 deportation of foreigners.

   The Sedition Act prohibited the
 publication of insults or malicious
attacks on the president or members
            of Congress.

“He that is not for us is against
us,” read the Federalist Gazette
      of the United States.

  It was the Sedition Act that generated the
   most controversy. Prosecutors arrested
  more than twenty Republican newspaper
   editors and politicians, accused them of
      sedition, and convicted and jailed a
                number of them.

Political cartoon of Congressman Lyon
(holding tongs), and later arrested
under the Sedition Acts,brawling
with Congressman Roger Griswold.

  What developed was a constitutional
  crisis. With justification, Republicans
charged that the Sedition Act violated the
 First Amendment’s prohibition against
 “abridging the freedom of speech, or of
                 the press.”

 Republicans did not appeal to the
Supreme Court because the Court’s
  power to review congressional
   legislation was uncertain and
 because most of the justices were

Instead, Madison and Jefferson looked to
 state legislatures for a solution. At their
     urging, the Kentucky and Virginia
  legislatures issued resolutions in 1798
declaring the Alien and Seditions Acts to
    be “unauthoritative, void, and of no

The resolution set forth a states’
   rights interpretation of the
 Constitution, asserting that the
states had a “right to judge” the
  legitimacy of national laws.

The debate over the Sedition Act
set the stage for the presidential
         election of 1800.

    With Republicans strongly
  supporting Jefferson’s bid for
the presidency, President Adams
  reevaluated his foreign policy.

   Rejecting Hamilton’s advice to
    declare war against France,
President Adams put country ahead
of party and entered into diplomatic
negotiations that ended the fighting.

                        Alexander Hamilton
Despite Adams’s statesmanship, the
campaign of 1800 degenerated into
   name-calling. The Federalists
    attacked Jefferson’s values,
branding him an “irresponsible pro-
         French radical....”

…. and because he opposed
 state support of religion in
Virginia, “the arch-apostle of
irreligion and free thought.”

   Thanks to a low Federalist turnout in
Virginia and Pennsylvania and the three-
fifths rule (which boosted electoral votes
  in the southern state), Jefferson won a
  narrow 73 to 65 victory over Adams in
           the Electoral College.

 However, the Republican electors
also gave 73 votes to Aaron Burr of
New York, who was Jefferson’s vice
     presidential running mate.

 The Constitution specified that in
the case of a tie vote, the House of
Representatives would choose the

For thirty-five ballots, Federalists in
   the House blocked Jefferson’s
  election, prompting a new rumor
 that Virginia was raising a military
   force to put Jefferson in office.

Ironically, it was arch-Federalist
Alexander Hamilton who ushered
  in a more democratic era by
      supporting Jefferson.

Calling Burr an “embryo Caesar” and
  the “most unfit man in the United
States for the office of president,” he
 persuaded key Federalists to allow
         Jefferson’s election.

    Jefferson called the election the
  “Revolution of 1800.” The bloodless
  transfer of power demonstrated that
governments elected by the people could
  be changed in an orderly way, even n
     times of bitter partisan conflict.

 In his inaugural address in 1801,
Jefferson praised this achievement,
declaring, “We are all Republicans,
       we are all Federalists.”

Defying the predictions of European
   conservatives, the republican
 experiment of 1776 had survived a
  quarter-century of economic and
          political turmoil.


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