The Proceedings of the House with Respect to the Petitions for a Repeal of the Alien and Sedition Laws
First Edition. This work contains the House Committee Report and the speeches of John Nicholas, a Virginia Congressman, and Albert Gallatin, a representative from Pennsylvania, about the Alien and Sedition Acts passed by the fifth Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. The Committee Report refused to repeal the Acts despite claims they were unconstitutional. Nicholas and Gallatin were opponents of the Acts and sought to repeal them. The Alien and Sedition Acts were a collection of four Acts: the Naturalization Act, which made it more difficult for immigrants to become citizens; the Alien Friends Act of 1798 and Alien Enemy Act of 1798, which allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were deemed dangerous or who were from a hostile nation; and the Sedition Act of 1798, which made it illegal to make false statements that were adverse of the federal government.
The Acts were met with criticism and help lead to Thomas Jefferson’s election in 1800 against John Adams. Upon election, Jefferson allowed the Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act to expire. The Alien Enemies Act still remains today, in revised form.
TITLE: The Proceedings of the House with Respect to the Petitions for a Repeal of the Alien and Sedition Laws