Essay on The Alien And Sedition Acts Of 1798

Essay on The Alien And Sedition Acts Of 1798

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The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 exposed bitter controversies between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans. The four bills placed extremely strict regulations on incoming immigrants and prohibited freedom of speech among the people. John Adams and Alexander Hamilton, the most notorious Federalists at the time, reasoned that the Alien and Sedition Acts were a necessity in order to keep America safe. However, disputes arose from this because they were many underlying possible true reasons as to why the acts were put into place. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the notorious Democratic-Republicans at the time, disliked what the Federalists stood for and knew that the bills violated the very foundation of basic American rights. The acts were placed at the time of the French Revolution, when Americans needed to decide whether to go against Britain and help France or to remain neutral. One of the common discussions of controversies was that the Alien and Sedition Acts were put into government to protect the Federalist ideals about France. John Adams, the president who put the acts into place, secured his presidency with the Sedition Act and also secured his Federalist ideas about not helping France with the Alien Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts were a manipulative way for the Federalist party to avoid the Democratic-Republican party’s legitimate argument to help France during their time of need.
The Federalist party was entirely against any involvement with France. The largest reason that Federalists were against assisting France was because of Alexander Hamilton’s plan. Federalists did not want to help France during their revolutionary war with England because England was their main trading partner. England was what made Hami...


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... themselves into office, as the Federalists do through John Adams and the Alien and Sedition Acts. Even Alexander Hamilton, a notable Federalist, knows that the bills are wrong. He says, “Let us not establish a tyranny,” and “...[provisions in the bill]may endanger civil war” (Hamilton). It is obvious that when one of the most important faces of the Federalist party thinks that the Alien and Sedition Acts are wrong, that something must be wrong with them. The acts force even more anger and resentment on the Federalist party, especially from immigrants, who are a large portion of the population. The rift between the Federalists, immigrants, and Democratic-Republicans exhibits an early form of isolationism among political parties. This is one of the first times that the two parties stand so opposite from one another in ideas and will create a theme as history goes on.

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