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Alien And Sedition Acts Essay

467 words - 2 pages

The debate over the Alien and Sedition Acts 1798 revealed bitter controversies on a number of issues. These acts consisted over four bills passed by congress in July 1978 granting the federal government extensive powers to deal with the internal subversion. The Alien and Sedition acts gave the president power to deport all aliens he felt were a threat to the United States. Edward Livingston made a speech in the House of Representatives on the proposed Alien acts. He stated that " the president alone is empowered to make the law, to fix in his mind what acts, what words, what thoughts or looks shall constitute the crime contemplated by the ...view middle of the document...

Albert Gallatin, a Democratic-Republican, made a speech in the House of Representatives on the proposed Sedition Act. His speech dealt with the issue of the publication of scandalous writings against the government. He states that "the only evidences brought by the supporters of this bill consist of writings expressing an opinion that certain measures of government have been dictated by an unwise policy, or by improper motives and that some of them are unconstitutional." He said that the supporters of this bill believe that if someone dislikes something having to do with the government, and expresses themselves either by talking or writing about "his want of confidence in the men now in power" is betraying the constitution and should be punished. This evolved into controversy because "it put the press under a restraint in respect to the measures of members of government, which would deprive the people of the means of obtaining information of their conduct, which would take away their right of electing nugatory." In conclusion, the debate over the Alien and Sedition acts of 1798 involved different issues and controversies. Whether dealing with the "Alien" or the "sedition" aspect of the bill, there wasn't just one side and one reason for anything. Meetings were held, issues and controversies were debated, laws were passed, and eventually agreements were made.

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