Alien & Sedition Acts - Summary Essay

Submitted By mylesj8259
Words: 820
Pages: 4

Jabari Myles
February 25, 2013
Mr. DePalma
HIS 131

“Alien Act, 1798.” In Enduring Voices, Vol. I: To 1877, ed. James J. Lorence, 149. Boston,
Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

“Alien Enemies Act, 1798.” In Enduring Voices, Vol. I: To 1877, ed. James J. Lorence, 149.
Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

“Sedition Act, 1798.” In Enduring Voices, Vol. I: To 1877, ed. James J. Lorence, 149-150.
Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

“Virginia Resolutions, 1798.” In Enduring Voices, Vol. I: To 1877, ed. James J. Lorence, 152.
Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.

The Alien Acts came spurred from the Quasi-War with the French.Section 1 gave the President the right to deport or detain any alien he reasonably thought was a hazard to the nation security of the United States. If any alien was asked to leave but instead went on the run, they would face up to three years in United States prison and be permanently denied US citizenship. If the alien can sufficiently prove that they are not a threat to the peace of society and the United States as a whole, the President has the power to issue a license that grants them. Section 2 gives the President the power to detain any alien indefinitely that returns to the United States without permission. Section 3 regulated reports of passenger manifestos on any ship or vessel. All commanders or captains had to relay specific info on any aliens including their name, description, political allegiance, and nativity. Section 4 gives jurisdiction to prosecute the violations of the Alien Acts to the Circuit and District Courts of the United States. The 5th Section gave the aliens the right to take certain removable property with them when they are forced out of the country. The property that cannot be taken with them such as homes will be disposed of however the alien chooses. Section 6 gives an expiration date for the
Alien Acts which is two years are it is officially passed into law.
The Alien Enemies Act proclaimed that in times of war or declared conflict with a foreign country, the President of the United States has the power to deport any native of the oppositional country. These aliens were excluded to males of the age of fourteen years and upward that were not officially naturalized. Although this Act was never really enforced, it did scare many Frenchmen into leaving the country.

Sedition Acts of 1798 contained a few sections. Section 1 States that anyone who speaks out against or ill of the government is subject to prosecution. It states that conspiring to oppose an act of the United States in unlawful. Surprisingly this offence is a high misdemeanor, punishable by up to $5,000 and imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years. Section 2 is directed at seditious writing. It targets anyone that could have a hand in writing against the government. Whether you publish, write, print or assist in the libel, you could still be prosecuted. This form of treason is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $2,000 and imprisonment of 2 years. The defense was given the right to…