Alien and Sedition Dbq

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The 1790s was a decade of international crisis and domestic dissension. The crises were developing because Americans were having a hard time determining what it meant to be American. As life under the American Constitution had just been underway, America had no history of accepting political opposition as legitimate. Political parties were thought of as engines of corruption or treason. America was just starting out as a new country, and their foreign policy was not yet strong enough to protect itself. The Alien and Sedition Acts helped to limit foreign influence by encouraging deportation of foreigners from America. Some worried America faced not only a powerful enemy abroad, but also a threatening undercurrent of opposition at home. Hoping to strengthen the nation during war, and at the same time crush their political rivals, the Federalist Party in power passed these four acts. Deep divisions in politics combined with distrust in foreign nations and growing domestic turmoil paved the way for the passing of the Alien and Sedition Acts by the Federalists. The two major parties of early America were the Anti-federalists and the Federalists. The schisms in politics resulted from the fierce rivalry between Hamilton and Jefferson. Both had different notions of how government should be run, especially when it came to the foreign policy. As France and England battled for European supremacy against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the American parties sought opposite alliances with the European rivals. The Federalist Party, under Hamilton opposed the Anti-federalist, under Jefferson, “womanish” attachment to France (Doc. D). Hamilton believed that those who sided with the French were traitors to America (Doc. I). He believed that Britain was the superior power and wanted to model the government to that of Britain's. Federalist concerns about the anarchy of the
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