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The Early Republic
• 1789- George Washington is
inaugurated as the first president
of the United States
• 1794- The beginnings of the Whiskey
During this time, a tax was put on whiskey,
part of the financial plan for the US.
Farmers from PA to Georgia were
outraged by this tax and refused to pay.
In the summer of 1794, a group of farmers
in Western Pennsylvania staged the
Whiskey Rebellion
One armed group beat up a tax collector, tarred and
feathered him, and stole his horse.
George Washington was determined to enforce the
tax on whiskey.
In October 1794, 13,000 troops marched to western
Pennsylvania. The rebels fled when they heard of
the army coming.
George Washington had made his point- the
government has the power and the will to enforce
the laws.
1796- John Adams becomes 2nd president
of the United States
During this time, relations between
France and the US were tense. Britain
and France were at war. To keep the
US from trading with the British, France
began to seize US ships.
The federalists wanted to go to war
with France.
Adams instead sends Charles
Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge
Gerry to Paris for talks to help end the
When they arrived, the French minister
of foreign affairs refused to meet
Finally, three French agents, called X, Y,
and Z arrived to tell the Americans that
the minister would hold talks under two
• America would loan $10 million to the
• Pay the minister a bribe of $250,000
The Americans refused stating “No, no
not a sixpence.”
This event became known as the XYZ
Affair. Americans were outraged at the
request for bribes and once again
wanted to go to war with France.
In 1798, the US cancelled its treaties
with France and allowed the US to
seize French ships. Congress also set
aside money to expand the navy and
Justification for Alien & Sedition Acts
“The United States . . . were threatened with
actual invasion . . . and had then, within
the bosom of the country, thousands of
aliens, who, we doubt not, were ready to
cooperate in any external attack.”
Summary of Alien and Sedition Acts
Naturalization Act
To be eligible for citizenship, an alien must
prove 14 years of residence within the
United States (previously 5 years).
Alien Act
President may deport any alien he views
as “dangerous to the peace and safety of
the U.S.” No trial or evidence required.
No defense.
Alien Enemies Act
President may, in case of war, deport
aliens of an enemy country or impose
severe restraints on them.
Summary of Alien and Sedition Acts
Sedition Act
Illegal to conspire to oppose any measure or
to impede the operation of any law of the
United States.
2) Illegal for any person to write print or publish
“any false, scandalous and malicious writing
. . . . against the government of the United
States, or either house of the Congress . . .
or the President . . . with intent to defame or
to bring them into contempt or disrepute; or
to excite against them the hatred of the good
people of the United States.
The end of the Alien & Sedition
The acts were repealed (found
unconstitutional) under the
presidency of Thomas Jefferson