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Alien_and_Sedition_1798 - Give Me Liberty Sources of...

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Give Me Liberty! Sources of Freedom History Center Sources of Freedom: Alien and Sedition Acts (July 6, 1798) The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 by the Federalist- controlled Congress. America was on the brink of war with France, and President John Adams and his Federalist colleagues were faced with fierce criticism from Democratic-Republicans. In addition, Federalists worried that the many aliens moving in and out of the United States would prove disloyal if war broke out. Read the two acts and determine how Congress proposed to control aliens and suppress criticism of the government in the press. The laws were greeted with a bitter outcry from Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republican Party who swept to power in the election of 1800. Although the laws stated in these acts were eventually repealed or expired, conflicts over the rights of aliens and political dissenters would return again and again in American history, especially during times of war. As you read, consider whether any aspects of these laws were justifiable at the time or would be so today. FIFTH CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: At the Second Session, Begun and help at the city of Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, on Monday, the thirteenth of November, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven. An Act Concerning Aliens. SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States at any time during the continuance of this act, to order all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, or shall have reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government thereof, to depart out of the territory of the United Slates, within such time as shall be expressed in such order, which order shall be served on such alien by delivering him a copy thereof, or leaving the same at his usual abode, and returned to the office of the Secretary of State, by the marshal or other person to whom the same shall be directed. 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
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become a citizen of the United States. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that if any alien so ordered to depart shall prove to the satisfaction of the President, by evidence to be taken before such person or persons as the President shall direct, who are for that purpose hereby authorized to administer oaths, that no injury or danger to the United Slates will arise from suffering such alien to reside therein, the President may grant a
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