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Dbq Alien And Sedition Acts

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The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

The Alien and Sedition Acts were not merely intended for immigrants who spoke out against the government but more to detain the growth of the Democratic - Republican Party. These four Acts coercively lessoned the likelihood of the party mounting power by eliminating its majority group; soon to be citizens. Many issues led up to the creation of the Acts. This Cause and Effect can be traced all the way back to George Washington's Presidency; a few years after the creation of the Constitutional government after the Articles of Confederation were expulsed.

In the beginnings of the United States there was a unity called Federalism. Although legislators had serious differences of opinions, political unity was considered absolutely essential for the stability of the nation; factions. If others were to enter in to this great country they should also become intertwined in our "ways". This opinion is seen in President George Washington's' letter to John Adams. He stated that people coming into our government should be "...Assimilated to our customs, measures and laws....become one people". But he also said "...they retain the Language, habits and principle (good or bad) which they bring with them..." They could not only keep there religions and other customs; but have a freedom of their pursuit of happiness: first amendment right; something that was violated in the Alien and Sedition Acts. Public perceptions of factions were not related to British excesses and thought to be "the moral diseases under which popular governments have everywhere perished". James Madison wrote in the most popular Federalist Paper number ten where he described his definition of a faction "by a faction, I understand a number of citizens whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or interest, adverse to the right of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interest of the community." He went on to explain that faction is a part of human nature; "that the cause of faction cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in means of controlling it effects." The significant point Madison was to make this essay was that the Union was a safeguard against leaders may even if "the influence of factious leaders may kindle a flame within their particular States, [they will be] unable to spread a general conflagration thought the other States"

Hamilton pushed for The Bank of the President, a Navy, funding and excise taxes, and, in foreign policy, neutrality that was sympathetic to British interest and to France. Hamilton felt very strong to these request feeling that they were the answer to most of the governments problems known as "Hamilton's Economic Program". His strong feelings can be noted in a private letter to Colonel Edward Carrington of Virginia were he expressed his anger toward James Madison and Thomas Jefferson opposing some of his tactics. "It was not till the last session [of Congress] that I became unequivocally convinced of the following truth 'That Mr. Madison, cooperating with Mr. Jefferson [the secretary of state], is at the head of faction decidedly hostile to me and my administration; and actuated by views, in my judgment subversive of the principles of good government and dangerous to the Union, peace and happiness of the country." This letter shows how (maybe not publicly) there was hostility between the Federalist and Democratic-Republicans; how both had such strong views that if given the power either party would do whatever to eliminate the opposition. Jefferson also expressed his dislike of Hamilton in a private letter to George Washington on September 9, 1792 "That I have utterly in my private conversations, disapproved of the system of the Secretary of the Treasury, I acknowledge and avow; and this was not merely a speculative difference. His system flowed from principles adverse to liberty, and was calculated to undermine and demolish the Republican, by creating an influence of his department over the members of the Legislature. I saw his influence actually produced, and its fruits to be established of great outlines of his projects by the votes of very persons who having swallowed his bait, were laying themselves out to profit his plans..." This country was becoming more worried about its political parties than its well being itself. This observation was noted by a foreigner from England; D.M. Erkine. "... the intolerance is greater in this Country by much, upon the subject of Politics, than it is with us: they think nothing of wishing each other destroyed; each Party openly descanting upon the probability of its becoming a matter of necessity to extirpate the opponent one, the (Aristocrats [to destroy] the Democrats) and vice versa for so...are the parties divided and distinguished..." Many legislators, especially those in the south, were alarmed to the point that a separation of the Unions was suggested as the only way to deal with Hamilton's successes. Many were afraid that the army would be used against them as it was used against them in the Whiskey Rebellions. Southerners saw the taxes to support a new treasury loan favoring "pro-British merchants in the commercial cities," and unfairly paid by landowners in the South. These issues as well as neutrality issues between France, England, and the United



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