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America Responds to Terrorism
The Alien and Sedition Acts

The Alien and Sedition Acts: Defining American Freedom

The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 challenged the Bill of Rights, but ultimately led to a new American definition of freedom of speech and the press.

When John Adams succeeded George Washington as president in 1797, the Federalist Party had controlled Congress and the rest of the national government from the beginning of the new nation. Adams and the other Federalists believed that their political party was the government. The Federalists believed that once the people had elected their political leaders, no one should publicly criticize them.

 
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