Consequences Of Thomas Jefferson And The Alien And Sedition Acts

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Thomas Jefferson & the Alien and Sedition Acts
In June and July of 1798 conservative Federalists pushed a series of repressive measures through Congress. They were known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. As it is stated in American Destiny: Narrative of a Nation, “the Alien Enemies Act gave the president the power to arrest or expel aliens in time of ‘declared war.’ ” The Alien Act also gave the president the ability to expel all aliens that he thought were “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.” The text also states that “the Sedition Act made it a crime ‘to impede the operation of any law’ and made it illegal to publish any ‘false, scandalous, and malicious’ criticism of high government officials.”
Thomas Jefferson did not
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Since it was only effective for war time, it was not brought into effect until the War of 1812. The second law, The Alien Friends Act, directly violated the right to Trial by Jury due to fact that the person or persons in question did not have to be proven guilty. The third act, the Neutralization Act, changed how and when a foreign person could become a United States citizen. It went from having to reside in America for five years to be eligible for citizenship, to having to prove residency for fourteen years. The fourth and most controversial act was the Sedition Act, which violated the freedom of speech and the freedom of press due to the fact that no one was allowed to speak, write, or print anything negative of the president or a high government official. In an article on www.sparknotes.com titled The First Years of the Union stated that “four of the five major Republican newspapers were charged with sedition just before the presidential election of 1800, and several foreign born journalists were threatened with expulsion. The Attorney General charged seventeen people with sedition, and ten were …show more content…
During these hard times, the election of 1800 took place. In the presidential election in 1800, on February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the third president of the United States of America. It was a tie vote between Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson and due to the 12th Amendment, the House of Representatives decided to place Thomas Jefferson as president. The tie vote revealed an issue with the electoral system. in 1804, the passing of the 12th Amendment provided separate Electoral College votes for President and Vice President, fixing the issue.
Thomas Jefferson went through many struggles during ethical conflicts, but I believe fighting the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 while preparing to run for president in two short years was most likely the biggest conflict he had to face. After the resolves, things got worse and it seemed the future was dark, but he held strong to his beliefs and fought to secure our rights as a free country. In the end he became our third president and showed his opponents he was not afraid and he wouldn’t back

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