Go after the media for dissing the president? Check.
Define treason as anything anti-administration? Check.
Make deportations easier? Check.
Tighten citizenship requirements? Check.
It’s the 220th anniversary of the Alien & Sedition Acts of 1798, the forebear of Trump’s anti-immigrant, media-bashing, attention-distracting rulings. Those Acts ramped up the American populace’s anger and directed it away from a tepid economy and ingrained elitism and toward the government’s homeland political enemies.
Congress passed the four Acts during the “Quasi-War” with France, to protect America from French subversion that could aid and abet a rumored French invasion. President John Adams did not ask for the Acts, but he deliberately signed the first one on July 14, 1798, anniversary of Bastille Day, to emphasize that the United States of America was taking action to counter an attempt to bribe American diplomats, and the seizing of American commercial ships, and France’s overt backing of Adams’ 1796 electoral opponent, Thomas Jefferson.
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