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John Adams
Internal Challenges
The Infamous: Alien
and Sedition Acts
Election of 1796
 A person from a foreign
country who is not yet a
citizen of the country in
which they now live.
 The act of organizing or
encouraging efforts to
overthrow the government.
 Refers to a group within an
organization, often a political
party, that has different
goals than those o the party
as a whole.
 An adjective, republican
indicates support for a
government which gets its
power from the people.
Internal Challenge: Alien and Sedition
Riding the tide of anti-French sentiment, the Federalists
overwhelmingly won the 1798 congressional elections. French
are stopping American Shipping.
In an effort to protect national security, should the country
enter into war with France, Congress passed a series of
four measures called the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798.
The acts gave unprecedented power to the central government.
The real intent of these laws was to destroy Jeffersonian
Republicanism. Laws designed to suppress Republican
The Alien Enemies Act,
 1. the first and least controversial act, defined
the procedure by which, during wartime,
U.S. authorities could deport a citizen of
an enemy nation whom they deemed a
threat to national security.
The Alien Friends Act
1. 1. Allowed the president to deport any
citizen of any foreign nation whom he
deemed a threat to the U.S., even in the
absence of proof.
The Naturalization Act.
Changed the residency requirement for
becoming a citizen of the United States
from five to fourteen years
This law was aimed at Irish and French
immigrants who were often active in
Republican politics
The Sedition Act
1. The final and most controversial act, forbade
any individual or group to speak, write, or
publish anything of a “false, scandalous and
malicious” nature that brought the Congress
and/or the president “into contempt or
2. A number of Republican newspaper publishers
were convicted under the terms of this law. No
Federalist papers were charged.
Questions: 2 Paragraph Response,
Draw a clear connection between the article
you read on Wednesday dealing with Voter
Suppression and the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Describe how the Alien and Sedition Acts
pose a threat to the 1st Amendment and
Response to Acts
The Kentucky and Virginia Resolves
Written by Jefferson and Madison
They saw it as limiting Free Speech which
included criticizing the President and
The Jeffersonians argued quite rightly
that the Sedition Act violated the terms of
the First Amendment
Resolves argued Alien and Sedition Acts
Said the people of each state had the right
to nullify or cancel federal law within the
Doctrine of Nullification would arise again
over issue of tariffs and slavery.
Federalist Party
Party was deeply divided during his
presidency and would never regain its’
former strength.
Alexander Hamilton led a faction which
undermined the Adams Presidency
Some historians consider his worst mistake
to be keeping Washington’s cabinet, which
was controlled by Hamilton,
Other Accomplishments
Appointed John Marshall as Chief Justice
Kept United States out of a declared war
with France. “here lies John Adams who
took upon himself the responsibility of the
peace with France in the year 1800” Adams
wanted these words on his gravestone
Created the Department of the Navy and
strengthened army
Left a solvent treasury