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Unformatted text preview: Discuss the Alien and Sedition Acts, the reason for their creation, and the reaction to them. I. Introduction a. Topic Sentence: b. Definition : i. 4 laws passed by the Federalist-dominated congress in 1798 directed against sympathizers to the French Revolution – chiefly Thomas Jefferson and his Republican Party. The laws, which stifled dissent and made it more difficult for immigrants to gain citizenship, had lapsed by 1802 c. Summary : i. The controversial set of Acts that eventually became synonymous with Adams' administration and helped bring about the downfall of the Federalist Party. Initially meant to secure the Federalist party and quash opposition, the Acts were composed of four laws, supposedly dealing with the protection of national security: the Alien Enemies Act, the Alien Friends Act, the Naturalization Act, and the Sedition Act. The Alien Enemies Act defined how the government could determine whether foreigners posed a threat in wartime–this Act was not used in 1812. The second, the Alien Friends Act, allowed the president to deport any foreigner–in peacetime and in war–whom he deemed a threat to the country. The third, the Naturalization Act, lengthened the time it took become a citizen of the US from five to fourteen years. The fourth and final act, also the most controversial and unconstitutional, the Sedition Act, forbade any individual to oppose "any measure or measures of the United States," or to speak, write or print anything about the president that caused him "contempt or disrepute." The Sedition Act expired in 1801, but not before four of the five major Republican newspapers had been charged with sedition and several foreign- born writers threatened with expulsion. Of the seventeen people charged under the Act, ten were convicted. The acts were meant to help solidify the Federalists hold on power in the 1798 and 1800 elections. Although Adams never vigorously enforced these laws, they quickly became synonymous with the Federalist Party and Adams in particular. Far from helping the Federalists, however, the Alien and Sedition Acts turned much of the country against them. d. Acts (or 4 Laws) : i. The Naturalization Act (official title: An Act to Establish an Uniform Rule of Naturalization) extended the duration of residence required for aliens to become citizens, from five years to fourteen 1. Enacted June 18, 1798, with no expiration date, it was repealed in 1802. ii. The Alien Friends Act (official title: An Act Concerning Aliens) authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States." 1. Enacted June 25, 1798, with a two year expiration date iii. The Alien Enemies Act (official title: An Act Respecting Alien Enemies) authorized the president to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States 1. Enacted July 6, 1798, with no expiration date, it remains in effect today as 50 USC Sections 21-24 iv. The Sedition Act...
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2010 for the course MBIO 4404 taught by Professor Moss during the Fall '10 term at Texas Tech.
- Fall '10
- Democracy in America