Dbq Alien and Sedition Acts

Topics: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams Pages: 4 (1505 words) Published: January 4, 2007
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

The Alien and Sedition Acts were not merely intended for immigrants who spoke out against the government but more to detain the growth of the Democratic - Republican Party. These four Acts coercively lessoned the likelihood of the party mounting power by eliminating its majority group; soon to be citizens. Many issues led up to the creation of the Acts. This Cause and Effect can be traced all the way back to George Washington's Presidency; a few years after the creation of the Constitutional government after the Articles of Confederation were expulsed. In the beginnings of the United States there was a unity called Federalism. Although legislators had serious differences of opinions, political unity was considered absolutely essential for the stability of the nation; factions. If others were to enter in to this great country they should also become intertwined in our "ways". This opinion is seen in President George Washington's' letter to John Adams. He stated that people coming into our government should be "...Assimilated to our customs, measures and laws….become one people". But he also said "…they retain the Language, habits and principle (good or bad) which they bring with them…" They could not only keep there religions and other customs; but have a freedom of their pursuit of happiness: first amendment right; something that was violated in the Alien and Sedition Acts. Public perceptions of factions were not related to British excesses and thought to be "the moral diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished". James Madison wrote in the most popular Federalist Paper number ten where he described his definition of a faction "by a faction, I understand a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or interest, adverse to the right of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interest of the...
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