Anthony Young March 20

Anthony Young
March 20, 2014
U.S. Hist. 808
ESSAY
THE ALIEN AND SEDITION ACTS
Introduction
The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four laws that were passed in 1798, by the Federalist-controlled Congress, while John Adams was President. At the time America was preparing for war with France. Specifically, the Alien Act increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years, and allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens who were considered “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States”. The Sedition Act restricted speech which was critical of the federal government. Democratic Republicans strongly objected to the Acts but the Federalists supported them. Both Acts were in violation of the U.S. Constitution; the Sedition Act was the harshest because it violated the 1st Amendment, Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition. The Alien Act violated the 10th Amendment, Powers Reserved to the States.