The Pros And Cons Of The Alien And Sedition Acts

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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…show more content…
Thomas Jefferson was the chief opponent of the Federalists. He despised Hamilton’s plan. He and the rest of the Democratic-Republican party believed that it weakened their revolutionary ideals, specifically the idea that “all men are created equal,” because Hamilton’s plan favors insiders. They also believed that his plan divided the American people, geologically and economically. This goes against the idea of a United States of America. When writing to George Washington about Hamilton’s plan, Jefferson says, “His system flowed from principles adverse to liberty, and was calculated to undermine and demolish the Republic, by creating an influence of his department over the members of the Legislature” (Jefferson). In a letter written after Pinckney’s and Jay’s treaties were put into action, Jefferson says, “In place of that noble love of liberty, & republican government which carried us triumphantly thro’ the war, an Anglican monarchical, & aristocratical party has sprung up, whose avowed object is to draw over us the substance...of the British government” (Jefferson). This statement shows the hostility that Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans have towards the control that the Federalists have over their government and communications with other countries. The two parties have a lot of pressure and hostility between each other because they both think they believe…show more content…
Federalists were worried that by allowing them in America, that it would seem like they were forming an alliance with France and going behind England’s back. The Democratic-Republicans were more welcoming to the immigrants because they practiced the ideals of the revolution, all men are created equal. There are no nationality boundaries on that statement, so the Democratic-Republicans were accepting to the French immigrants, even more so because it hurt Hamilton’s Plan to have them there. The Federalist party was beginning to be outnumbered by the immigrants who were converting to the Democratic-Republican party. Hamilton and Adams needed to take a plan of action in order to protect Hamilton’s plan and their relationship with England. When Adams became president in 1797, it was the Federalists’ opportunity to regain control over the country and eliminate their quasi relationship with France. The Alien and Sedition Acts eliminated France immigrants who would join the Democratic-Republican side because they were the ones who had wanted to help France. But the acts would also eliminate the ability for the Democratic-Republicans to do anything about it because if they said or did anything against the laws, they would be going against the Sedition Act. Democratic-Republican

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