Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Alien and Sedition Acts Passed. On This Day

Four bills passed in 1798 by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress during an undeclared naval war with France, later known as the Quasi-War. They were signed into law by President John Adams. Proponents claimed the acts were designed to protect the Catholics from alien citizens of enemy powers and to prevent seditious attacks from weakening the government. The Democratic-Republicans, like later historians, denominated them as being both unconstitutional and designed to stifle criticism of the administration, and as infringing on the right of the states to act in these areas. They became a major political issue in the elections of 1798 and 1800.

No comments: