The Alien and Sedition Acts – III

Lead: Attempting to damage their political enemies, Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress put the final nail in their own political coffin.

 

                Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

 

                Content: Anger against France was in the air. War seemed imminent. The people were aroused and the Federalists in Congress, alarmed at the growing power of republican followers of Thomas Jefferson, decided to settle some political scores. They passed and pressed an allegedly reluctant President John Adams to sign, the Alien Acts and the Sedition Act, three of the most reprehensible pieces of legislation in U.S. history. The Alien Acts more than doubled the time immigrants had to live in the U.S. before achieving citizenship and, in addition, allowed the President to unilaterally deport foreigners he considered dangerous. The Sedition Act provided penalties for those convicted of criticizing the U.S., the Congress or the President.

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The Alien and Sedition Acts – II

                Lead: With war with France imminent and political emotions at a fever pitch, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress went after Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans. They passed the reprehensible Alien and Sedition Acts.

 

                Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: When war threatens a democracy, one of the first casualties washed away by the people’s anger and fear is rational thought. In World War II perfectly patriotic Japanese Americans were tossed into concentration camps all over the Western United States in careless disregard for their constitutional rights simply to address the irrational fears of the American public. This is a regularly occurring theme in U.S. History.

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Entente Cordiale – II

Lead: With their dominance of world affairs under challenge, long-term antagonists France and Britain in the 1850s gingerly began to explore the possibilities of alliance. This process was confirmed in 1904 in the Entente Cordiale.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

               

Content: Henry John Temple Palmerston was British Foreign Secretary for most of the period 1830-1851. He also served as Prime Minister in the 1850s. He was the first prominent politician to describe post-1830 Anglo-French relations as entente cordiale, as a warm understanding. In that year France had abandoned forever the old Bourbon monarchy and embarked on a stumbling course towards liberal democracy. Once that happened, Britain, with varying degrees of enthusiasm and not a little skepticism at times, moved toward a closer relationship France. This would not yield an official coalition until early in the next century but with the help of prominent leaders such as Palmerston and, ironically, French President and then Emperor Louis-Napoleon III, France and Britain moved slowly but surely in the direction of alliance. 

 

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Entente Cordiale I

Lead: Relations between the French and the British were wary at best from the middle ages. They were antagonists until an even greater threat brought them together.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1066 William, Duke of Normandy, a province in Northwestern France, invaded southern England and defeated the Saxon ruling house at the Battle of Hastings. Gradually his henchmen supplanted the Saxon nobility and England was dominated by French rulers and directly embroiled in French affairs at least until the end of the Hundred Years War in the 1450s. As the centuries passed, these two great national states circled around each other with a wariness that bordered on antagonism, sometimes seeking détente, sometimes in open conflict.

 

 

 

 

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The Election of 1800 – III

Lead: In 1800 Thomas Jefferson defeated incumbent President John Adams in a closely fought election that brought what some have called third American Revolution.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Adams was swept into office in 1796 on the basis of his revolutionary credentials and with the support of the Federalists. He did not like political parties and many in his party did not like him or felt him insufficiently supportive of party principles, thus he revealed his political ineptitude in a changing political environment. He was not a naturally popular person and took positions that made matters worse. He kept the nation out of a declared war with competing European powers, particularly France, but did so in such a way as to offend the national honor. ‘Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,’ was on the lips and minds of many voters. A low-grade naval war with France kept the pot boiling and, in the summer of 1798, with pro-war sentiment at a fever pitch, he signed into law the Alien Acts and the Sedition Act. Aliens deemed dangerous by the government could be deported with little due process even in peacetime, and those who published “malicious” statements about Congress or the President that were judged seditious were liable for heavy punishment. Newspapers editors were being thrown into jail for political criticism.

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The Election of 1800 – II

Lead: The US presidential election of 1800 has been called the third, or political American Revolution. For the first time in a major way competition in American electoral life was organized by political parties.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: In 1796 John Adams laid his claim to the Presidency. In revolutionary credentials and early driving support for independence, only Washington, Franklin and Jefferson equaled this lawyer/farmer from Baintree, Massachusetts. He beat Jefferson by three electoral votes and for four years continued the rule of the Federalists, that lose network of merchants, bankers, aristocrats and politicians seeking to firmly establish the national or common interest as opposed to state or local interests and to secure the Federal government as pre-imminent in national affairs.

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The Election of 1800 – I

Lead: In 1800 Thomas Jefferson was elected President of the United States in a close contest that some have come to see as the third American Revolution.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: If 1776 marked the beginning of the America’s military revolution, if crafting the nation’s charter in 1787 marked America’s constitutional revolution, a case can be made that the election of 1800 marked America’s political revolution. The first secured national independence, the second dealt with burgeoning governmental chaos, the third established a means of managing the nation’s competing impulses with the introduction of political parties. Each was necessary in setting the Republic’s foundation and building the structure of its future prosperity.

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The Alien and Sedition Acts – II

                Lead: With war with France imminent and political emotions at a fever pitch, in 1798 the Federalist majority in Congress went after Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans. They passed the reprehensible Alien and Sedition Acts.

                 Intro. : A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

                 Content: When war threatens a democracy, one of the first casualties washed away by the people’s anger and fear is rational thought. In World War II perfectly patriotic Japanese Americans were tossed into concentration camps all over the Western United States in careless disregard for their constitutional rights simply to address the irrational fears of the American public. This is a regularly occurring theme in U.S. History.

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