The schisms in politics were resulted from the fierce rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson. Both had different notions of how government should work. Hamilton's party, the Federalists, opposed Jefferson's party, the Antifederalists', attachment to France. Hamilton believed that Britain was the superior power and wanted to model the government to that of Britain's (Document D). Jefferson countered Hamilton's belief with the argument that Britain was not democratic enough and if our government was modeled after theirs then our republican principles would be lost (Document E). The Alien and Sedition acts clearly favored the Federalists and they were indeed passed by the Federalists to ensure a win in the election of 1800. These acts illustrate the power struggle between the Federalists and Antifederalists. The Alien Acts hampered naturalization for the new immigrants while facilitating deportation. Since the new immigrants were poor and did not fit in with the aristocratic Federalists, they would have undoubtedly favored the Antifederalists. By denying them the vote the Federalists were able to tip the scales in their own favor. The Sedition Act was passed to stop "slander" of the government. But the slander was mainly written by Antifederalist and it attacked the Federalists. The Antifederalists clearly did not favor the Acts and argued that they were despotic and would lead to an authoritarian government. Also they argued that not only were the acts themselves unconstitional, but also the principles the acts were based upon. Also the acts were examples of the British influence on Federalist policies because they let the federal government have too much power (Documents P and Q). But the Antifederalists were not able to stop the acts from being passed because of influence from foreign affairs and Federal control in politics.
The growing distrust in the French enabled the... [continues]
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