The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions - The Virginia and...

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Unformatted text preview: The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions Chapter 7: Launching the New Republic, 17891800 Presented By: Trevor Grabhorn Presented By: Trevor Grabhorn Authors/Purpose (1798 and 1799), were measures passed by (1798 the legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky as a protest against the Federalist Alien and Sedition Acts. The resolutions were written by James The Madison and Thomas Jefferson (then vice president in the administration of John Adams), but the role of those statesmen remained unknown to the public for almost 25 years. Generally, the resolutions argued that Generally, because the federal government was the outcome of a compact between the states, all powers not specifically granted to the central authority were retained by the individual states or by the people. Alien and Sedition Acts In 1798, the Federalist-controlled Congress passed a series of In laws which, on the surface, were designed to control the activities of foreigners in the United States during a time of impending war. Beneath the surface, however, the real intent of these laws was Beneath to destroy Jeffersonian Republicanism. The laws, known collectively as the "Alien and Sedition Acts," The included: The Naturalization Act, which extended the residency period which from 5 to 14 years for those aliens seeking citizenship; this law was aimed at Irish and French immigrants who were often active in Republican politics The Alien Act, which allowed the expulsion of aliens deemed which dangerous during peacetime The Alien Enemies Act, which allowed the expulsion or which imprisonment of aliens deemed dangerous during wartime. This was never enforced, but it did prompt numerous Frenchmen to return home The Sedition Act, which provided for fines or imprisonment which for individuals who criticized the government, Congress, or president in speech or print. Alien and Sedition Acts cont. The Alien Acts were never enforced, but the The Sedition Act was. A number of Republican newspaper publishers were convicted under the terms of this law. The Jeffersonians argued quite rightly that the The Sedition Act violated the terms of the First Amendment and offered a remedy in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. While these laws were either repealed or allowed While to expire in the next administration, they were significant as rallying points for the Jeffersonians. The heavy-handed Federalist policies worked to The the advantage of the Republicans as they prepared for the Election of 1800. prepared Conclusion Since Congress was firmly controlled by Since the Federalists, the fight against the Alien and Sedition Acts moved to the state legislatures in late 1798. James Madison prepared the Virginia James Resolutions and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions. Both followed a similar argument: The Both states had the duty to nullify within their nullify borders those laws that were unconstitutional. Nothing concrete resulted from the passage Nothing of these resolutions; no other states followed with similar actions. followed The death of George Washington in 1799 The helped to quiet tempers, and the Alien and Sedition Acts soon expired or were repealed. However, the issue of nullification had been put on the table. nullification Works Citied www.u­s­ ...
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This note was uploaded on 07/29/2011 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Baltimore City.

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