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.