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The Sedition Act of 1798

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.1 
  • Words: 1868
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For the first few years of Constitutional government, under the leadership of

George Washington, there was a unity, commonly called Federalism that even James

Madison (the future architect of the Republican Party) acknowledged in describing the

Republican form of government--   ÿ And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we

feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the

character of Federalists.ÿ   Although legislators had serious differences of opinions,

political unity was considered absolutely essential for the stability of the nation.

Political parties or factions were considered evil as   ÿComplaints are everywhere

heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and

private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable,

that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are

too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party,

but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majorityÿÿ   Public perception

of factions were related to British excesses and thought to be ÿthe mortal diseases under

which popular governments have everywhere perished.ÿ

James Madison wrote in Federalist Papers #10, ÿBy a faction, I understand a

number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are

united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the

rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.ÿ  

He went on to explain that faction is part of human nature; ÿthat the CAUSES of faction

cannot be removed, and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its

EFFECTS.ÿ   The significant point Madison...


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