Alien and Sedition Acts Dbq

Topics: United States, Thomas Jefferson, President of the United States Pages: 3 (873 words) Published: March 16, 2011
In 1798 Congress passed for bills known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. There were many controversies that developed around and because of these acts. The Alien Acts had three parts. The first part stated that you had to live on U.S. soil for at least fourteen years in oder to become a citizen. The second part stated that the President had power to deport all aliens that he thought dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States. The third part to this act stated that the United States could restrain and remove all adult aliens of the hostile nation in a time of war. There were many controversies over this act, including the debate of immigration in the United States along with other countries. The Sedition Act states that writings that are ‘scandalous and malicious’ against the government that are published would be penalized with fines or imprisonment. This Act also has many controversies that surrounded it. One in particular was the debate of whether or not that was constitutional. There were many other controversies that developed because of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

One controversy in particular was the debate over immigration. Some believed that immigration did not need to be encouraged unless to some particular professions or men. George Washington, the President of the United States, was not particularly sure of his position on the immigration issue, although he did not let the public know that. In a letter to friend he wrote, “while the policy or advantage of its taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the Language, habits and principles (good and bad) which they bring with them--whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures and laws:--in a word, soon become one people” (Document A). Many were also very supportive of immigration, to give people from other countries the chance to go to the United...
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