Library of Congress: John Adams, second President of the United States

President John Adams Signs the Sedition Act Into Law

By July 14, 1798

President John Adams oversees the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. In response, Thomas Jefferson introduces the “Kentucky Resolution” and James Madison issues the “Virginia Resolution” to give states the power to determine the constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts. On Sept. 12, newspaper editor Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, is arrested under the Sedition Act for libeling President John Adams.

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