To a student, a researcher, or an enthusiast of the history of the United States of America, knowing what alien and sedition acts are would be of significant importance. Passed as four important acts, these acts can be viewed as aftermaths of French revolution that befell in France from 1789-1799. These acts were designed to increase the requirements for American citizenships and diminish the number of supporters for the Democratic-Republicans; the political enemies of the Federalists. The bills were signed in 1978 by the US President John Adams of the 5th US Congress.
Facts about Alien and Sedition Acts
What made up Alien and Sedition Acts?
The Alien and Sedition Acts consist of the following four bill: 1. The Naturalization Act, 2. The Alien Friends Act, 3. The Alien Enemies Act, 4. The Sedition Act. The Naturalization Act increased therequirement for US residency or citizenship from 5 to 14 years. The Alien Friends Act permitted the President to send to prison or deport aliens assumed “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States” at any time. Moreover, the Alien Enemies Act sanctioned the President to do the same to any male citizen of a hostile nation, above the age of 14, during times of war. Last of all, the Sedition Act restricted speech which criticized the federal government.
Why were the Alien and Sedition Acts passed? What was the purpose of Alien and Sedition Acts?
To comment on why they were passed, many state that the purpose behind the passing of the four bills was to strengthen national security by deploying ‘aliens’ away from the US. However, some critics have been arguing that the bills were mainly a way to suppress electors who disagreed with the Federalist party, mainly the Democratic-Republicans . Simultaneously, most French people who were in the US were supporting the Democratic-Republics, the political rivals of the Federalists. Naturally, the acts were extensively censored by the Democratic-Republicans that move paved the way for their winning of the election in 1800 and Thomas Jefferson became the US President.
Consequences of the Alien and Sedition Acts
The four bills that were passed under the name of Alien and Sedition Acts were eventually denounced by the Democratic-Republicans during the time of the election. After Thomas Jefferson assumed office as President, he pardoned all those who were serving sentences under the Alien and Sedition Acts. However, no aliens were deported, but 25 prosecutions were recorded, resulting in 10 convictions, under the Sedition Act, which adhere d to charging anti-Federalists. All the Alien and Sedition Acts expired over few years or were canceled during the next two years. The Alien Enemies Act remained in operation and was amended in 1918 to include women.
The phrase Alien and Sedition Acts refer to four bills or laws passed in the USA by the 5th US Congress to weaken the supporting to Democratic-Republicans in the US at the time who were opponents of the Federalist Party which ran for federal elections in 1800. They consisted of four bills specifically designed to the gradual reduction of anti-Federalists in the country.