Alien and Sedition Laws - Research Article from Americans at War

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Alien and Sedition Laws.
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Enacted in 1798, the Alien and Sedition Laws were the nation's first legislative acts designed to stifle political dissent in wartime. Congress enacted four laws to discourage domestic criticism and protest of the "Quasi-War" against France. The laws set a precedent for strengthening national and public security at the expense of civil liberties.

The Alien and Sedition Laws sprang from American responses to the French Revolution. On one side, led by Alexander Hamilton and including most of the Federalist Party, were shopkeepers, merchants, and tradesmen who viewed the French Revolution, with its execution of opponents, abolition of many religious laws and practices, and forcible seizure of property from the nobility and aristocracy, as horrifyingly radical. They sympathized more with England than France, maintaining that French aid in the War of American Independence was an act of naked self-interest. Not so, retorted a large...

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This section contains 838 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Alien and Sedition Laws Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan
Alien and Sedition Laws from Macmillan. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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