June 18, 1798

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History.com: “President John Adams passes the Naturalization Act, the first of four pieces of controversial legislation known together as the Alien and Sedition Acts, on this day in 1798. Strong political opposition to these acts succeeded in undermining the Adams administration, helping Thomas Jefferson to win the presidency in 1800.”

“So disgusted was [Vice President] Jefferson with Adams’ enthusiastic support of the law that he could no longer support the president and left Washington during the Congressional vote.”

“…The Sedition Act, passed on July 14, gave Adams tremendous power to define treasonable activity including any false, scandalous and malicious writing. The intended targets of the Sedition Act were newspaper, pamphlet and broadside publishers who printed what he considered to be libelous articles aimed primarily at his administration.

“Among those arrested was Benjamin Franklin’s grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, who was the editor of the … Philadelphia Democrat-Republican Aurora. Citing Adams’ abuse of presidential powers and threats to free speech, Jefferson’s party took control of Congress and the presidency in 1800.

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