Essay about The Alien & Sedition Act

Submitted By Lounie
Words: 599
Pages: 3

Lounie Germain
Honors US History I
Due Date: 2/14/14
The Alien & Sedition Acts

In the 1790s; there were vast differences between the Democratic-Republicans. During June and July, 1798, Congress passed four bills, these were known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. These Acts granted the federal government extensive powers to deal with internal subversion. The Alien Act (1) “required a fourteen-year residency period for aliens prior to naturalization as a citizen”, (2) it “gave the president power to deport “all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States”,” and (3) it “allowed the restraint and removal in time of war of resident adult aliens of the hostile nation.” The Sedition Act “prohibited combination or conspiracy against the United States government and the publication of “scandalous and malicious” writings against the government or its officials under penalty of fine or imprisonment.” These controversies developed because of jealousy of political power. Most Americans were not satisfied with the Alien Act and it was ignored and not welcomed. It was said that people from other countries (foreign countries) were enemies of the nation. They had difficulty believing themselves to be a part of the United States. The Sedition Act targeted at “strangers”, those who were not Americans and therefore the law was unimportant. (Doc. C) The Federalists saw foreigners as deep threat to American security. In response to the Acts the Republicans launched an attack on what they believed were breaches of the Constitution. (Doc. A) George Washington, a Federalist, assumed that new immigrants need to be coalesce into American society. The opponents of the Alien and Sedition Acts were led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Dem.-Rep. They believed that the government could not be given powers by implication; the jurisdiction of the federal government was plainly stated in the Constitution, and it had to be followed. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison declared the Alien Act to be unconstitutional as it was an expansion of the powers of the Executive Branch. (Doc. F) He was also saying that England is full of greediness and no man should have to take any part of that. The Sedition Act was perhaps more important because Jefferson was questioning whether or not immigration is a positive thing because it increase helps