Monday, November 24, 2008

The Alien & Sedition Acts of July of July 14th, 1798

Who is writing?
-The most evident authors of this document appear to be Jonathan Dayton (Speaker of the House of Representatives), Theodore Sedgwick (President of the Senate), & John Adams (President at the time)

Who is the audience?
-This document is directed toward all residents living in the United States.

Who do the Writers Represent?
-The writers of this particular document represent the Congress and the Federal Government of America.

What is being said, argued and/or requested?
-The first Section of this document declares that any conspiracy, against the United States government or any treasonable activity was considered guilty of a high misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars and or by imprisonment for no less than six months and no more than five years.

-The second section of this legal document specifies that any person involved in the publication of “false, scandalous & malicious writing”, or any writing against the any section of the United States Government in violent opposition against any constituted law or act, or any writing that encourages “any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government will be liable to punishment of a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.

-The third section actually serves as a protection and entitles the right to any person that is prosecuted under this act for writing or publishing any libel aforesaid, it will be lawful for the defendant during the trial to supply evidence defending his position. Another thing that is entitled to any person who prosecuted under this act is that a jury “who shall try the cause” will have the right to judge the defendant according to law and fact.

-The fourth section of this document states that this act will be in instated until the third day of March 1801 and no longer, but this act’s expiration will not effect the prosecution and punishment of any offense during the time that it was established.

How is it being said, argued or requested?

-The tone of this document is stern and authoritative. It is presented in a professional manner, such as one that is expected in a legal document. The tone suits this document in instituting and introducing new laws to the newly founded nation.

What proof and/or justifications are being used to legitimize the request?

-This document is represented by the United States Congress of America and its members, so its credibility is of very high stature even though no certain justifications are being used to legitimize the request.

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