The Alien and Sedition Acts

by Evelin Segovia
(Houston, TX)

Original Text: The Alien and Sedition Acts


In 1798 The Alien and Sedition Acts driven purpose was to destroy the Republicans who oppose the president and his administration. Their main target was to undermine popular support and to close the Republicans’ newspapers. Congress tried to in-cover its scheme with the excuse that these acts were necessary wartime measures. Taking advantage of the current Quasi-War with France the Federalist manage to associate their enemy (France) with their opponent (The Federalist).They used people’s fear as a powerful weapon against the Republicans by implying that the Republicans were against Americans’ safety and as a result the Republicans will be looked upon as adversary.
Another way the Federalist sneakily attacked the Republicans was by getting rid of the French people who mostly supported the Republicans or the “Jacobins” as John c. Miller refers to them. This way the Republicans will lose power since most of their supporters were deported or send off for two years. Decreasing their supporters lowered their dominance in America
The major technique that was used in these enactments was the Sedition Act which stated that no one could say or publish anything negative about the president or his administration. Virtually in every state in America there was at least one newspaper with the arguments of Jefferson and his supporters. So at this point the Republicans lost their French supporters plus they had no legal way of encouraging others to join the republican party since they strongly oppose the government and did not have the freedom to let others know their opinions.
Ultimately the acts were designed to destroy the Republicans and make them seem like the bad guy. In the Federalist opinion the Republicans had to be stopped and how better than to use this perfect scheme to leave them forsaken. If the republicans did not have their supporters they had no dominance in America’s politics

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Revised Text:

In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts purpose was to destroy the Republicans who opposed the president and his administration. Their main target was to undermine popular support and to close the Republicans’ newspapers. Congress tried to cover up its' scheme using the excuse that these acts were necessary wartime measures.

Taking advantage of the then current "Quasi-War" with France, the Federalists managed to associate their enemy (France), with their opponents. They used peoples' fear as a powerful weapon against the Republicans by implying that the Republicans were against America's safety, and as a result, the Republicans were looked upon as adversaries.

Another way the Federalists sneakily attacked the Republicans, was by getting rid of the French people, or the “Jacobins” as John c. Miller refers to them, who mostly supported the Republicans. In this way, the Republicans would lose power since most of their supporters were deported or sent off for two years. Decreasing their supporters lowered their dominance in America.

The major technique that was used in these enactments was the Sedition Act, which stated that no one could say or publish anything negative about the president or his administration. In virtually every state in America there was at least one newspaper carrying the arguments of Jefferson and his supporters. So at this point, the Republicans lost their French supporters plus they had no legal way of encouraging others to join the Republican party, since they strongly opposed the government and did not have the freedom to let others know their opinions.

Ultimately, the acts were designed to destroy the Republicans and make them seem like the bad guys. In the Federalist opinions, the Republicans had to be stopped, and how better than to use this perfect scheme to leave them forsaken. If the republicans did not have their supporters, they had no dominance in America’s politics.

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