What did the alie and sedition acts state?
It was a series of four laws enacted in 1798 to reduce the political power of recent immigrants to the Unites States.
- The Naturalization Act (officially An Act to Establish a Uniform Rule of Naturalization
; ch. 54, 1Stat. 566) extended the duration of residence required for aliens to become citizens of the United States from five years to fourteen years.
- The Alien Friends Act (officially An Act Concerning Aliens
; ch. 58, 1Stat. 570) authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States." It was activated June 25, 1798, with a two year expiration date.
- The Alien Enemies Act (officially An Act Respecting Alien Enemies
; ch. 66, 1Stat. 577) authorized the president to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States of America. Enacted July 6, 1798, and providing no sunset provision, the act remains intact today as 50 U.S.C. § 21-24. At the time, war was considered likely between the U.S. and France.
- The Sedition Act (officially An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States
; ch. 74, 1Stat. 596) made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials. It was enacted July 14, 1798, with an expiration date of March 3, 1801 (the day before Adams' presidential term was to end).