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The Resource The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 : testing the Constitution, Terri Diane Halperin

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 : testing the Constitution, Terri Diane Halperin

Label
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 : testing the Constitution
Title
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798
Title remainder
testing the Constitution
Statement of responsibility
Terri Diane Halperin
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
  • "In May 1798, after Congress released the XYZ Affair dispatches to the public, a raucous crowd took to the streets of Philadelphia. Some gathered to pledge their support for the government of President John Adams, others to express their disdain for his policies. Violence, both physical and political, threatened the safety of the city and the Union itself. To combat the chaos and protect the nation from both external and internal threats, the Federalists swiftly enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. Oppressive pieces of legislation aimed at separating so-called genuine patriots from objects of suspicion, these acts sought to restrict political speech, whether spoken or written, soberly planned or drunkenly off-the-cuff. Little more than twenty years after Americans declared independence and less than ten since they ratified both a new constitution and a bill of rights, the acts gravely limited some of the very rights those bold documents had promised to protect. In The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, Terri Diane Halperin discusses the passage of these laws and the furor over them, as well as the difficulties of enforcement. She describes in vivid detail the heated debates and tempestuous altercations that erupted between partisan opponents: one man pulled a gun on a supporter of the act in a churchyard; congressmen were threatened with arrest for expressing their opinions; and printers were viciously beaten for distributing suspect material. She also introduces readers to the fraught political divisions of the late 1790s, explores the effect of immigration on the new republic, and reveals the dangers of partisan excess throughout history. Touching on the major sedition trials while expanding the discussion beyond the usual focus on freedom of speech and the press to include the treatment of immigrants, Halperin's book provides a window through which readers can explore the meaning of freedom of speech, immigration, citizenship, the public sphere, the Constitution, and the Union"--
  • "A blatantly partisan new immigration law. Legislation aimed to separate genuine patriots from objects of suspicion by restricting political speech--whether spoken or written and including both public remarks on a raised platform and drunken references outside a tavern. Fights on the floor of Congress, in one case involving a man who whipped fireplace tongs over his head as he went after an adversary. One may think of frenzied reaction to the September 2011 terrorist attacks or recent congressional quarrels over undocumented workers, health-care reform, or the budget deficit. But these things took place in 1798, when the new republic faced possible war with France over neutral rights on the high seas and the party of George Washington and President John Adams tried to crush the ungodly opposition of Madison, Jefferson, and the Irish. The Federalist-imposed Alien and Sedition acts threw into bright relief the forces that divided the country even in its early years, when most founders hoped and expected that the republic would escape factional (read party) strife. Halperin discusses passage of these acts and the furor over them in a way that introduces undergraduates to the situation at the time, the dangers of partisan excess at any time, and the impossibility of self-government without civil liberties. What do these legislative acts teach us about republican democracy?"--
Member of
Assigning source
  • Provided by publisher
  • Provided by publisher
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1966-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Halperin, Terri Diane
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Series statement
Witness to history
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • United States.
  • Alien and Sedition laws, 1798
  • Seditious libel
  • Freedom of expression
Label
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 : testing the Constitution, Terri Diane Halperin
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
155 pages
Isbn
9781421419688
Lccn
2015034016
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
(OCoLC)930364090
Label
The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 : testing the Constitution, Terri Diane Halperin
Publication
Copyright
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm.
Extent
155 pages
Isbn
9781421419688
Lccn
2015034016
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
System control number
(OCoLC)930364090

Library Locations

    • Biddle Law LibraryBorrow it
      3400 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104, US
      39.954941 -75.193362
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