Warm up 2
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Warm-up #2. Write a paragraph addressing the life and presidency of John Adams. Brainpop. Watch the video on John Adams. Use the information you learned to help you complete the video quiz. XYZ Affair + Alien and Sedition Acts.

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Warm-up #2

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Warm-up #2

  • Write a paragraph addressing the life and presidency of John Adams.


Brainpop

  • Watch the video on John Adams. Use the information you learned to help you complete the video quiz.


XYZ Affair + Alien and Sedition Acts

How did Adams’ presidency challenge ideas of freedom of expression and other rights?


I. XYZ Affair

  • A.

    • As soon as Adams became president, he wanted to fix relations between the US and France

      • Relations had been damaged because the US did not help them fight the British and the French were interfering with our merchant ships.

    • Adams sent US diplomats to Paris to smooth things out and negotiate a treaty to protect US shipping


B. The Drama

  • When the diplomats arrived, three French agents told them that the foreign minister (Talleyrand) would only talk with them if he was paid a $250,000 bribe and France was given a $12 million loan

  • American Diplomats said no

  • March 1798—Adams told Congress what happened, substituting X, Y, and Z for the names of the French agents


Questions to think about:

  • What happened when the diplomats got to France?

    • Three agents tried to bribe the diplomats into meeting Talleyrand

  • What did the diplomats do?

    • Refused to pay the bribe

  • What did Adams do next?

    • Tell Congress what happened


C. War… or not?

  • Federalists in Congress wanted war with France. Demo-reps want to avoid war.

  • Though Federalists wanted war, Adams eventually made peace with France through diplomacy.

  • Loss of Adams’ popularity and discrimination against French people living in the USA.


British Political Cartoon about XYZ


II. The Alien and Sedition Acts

  • Democratic-Republicans continued to support France, and this annoyed Federalists

  • 1798—Congress passed four laws—known as the Alien and Sedition Acts

    • One law made it hard for aliens to become citizens

    • One law prohibited criticism of the fed gov’t

    • Designed to crush opposition to war

  • Americans, especially Democratic-Republicans, were outraged

    • They said this violated their First Amendment rights


Questions to think about:

  • What did the Alien and Sedition Acts do?

    • Made it harder to become a citizen, made criticism of the gov’t illegal

  • Why were they passed?

    • Silence opposition (mostly Dem-Repub) to war


III. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions

  • In response, Jefferson and Madison wrote the VA and KY Resolutions

    • Said Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional; therefore states did not have to obey the law

  • These resolutions weren’t powerful, but supported the idea that states could challenge the federal government

  • The Alien and Sedition Acts expired by 1802


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