The Virginia House of Delegates adopted these resolutions drafted by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson to protest the constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Alien and Sedition Acts have been enacted by Federalists scared of a violent overthrow of the federal government as French refugees fled to the United States from revolutions in France and Haiti.
The acts restricted immigration and made robust criticism of public officers illegal. Several newspaper publishers and writers have been imprisoned for seditious writings. Many Americans opposed a federal sedition legislation, arguing that it violated the Constitution and in addition unconstitutionally infringed on the best of states to common free speech through slander legal guidelines. This petition to the United States Congress was part of a Republican Party effort to repeal the Alien and Sedition Acts. Virginia Congressman John Dawson (1762–1814) declared the Alien and Sedition Act an open violation of the First … Read More