compare our freedoms now versus then:
the alien and sedition acts
were passed on july 14
under the administration of president john adams
. they were supposed to protect the united states
from "dangerous" aliens, but were used by the federalists
in an attempt to stop the growth of the democratic-republican party
there were actually four separate laws making up what is commonly referred to as the "alien and sedition acts":
- the alien enemies act authorized the president to imprison or deport any alien associated with any nation that the united states was fighting in a "declared war."
- the alien act authorized the president to deport any alien considered dangerous, even in peacetime.
- the naturalization act extended the duration of residence required for aliens to become citizens, nearly tripling it from five years to 14.
- the sedition act made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against government or government officials.
the sedition act of 1918
was an amendment
to the espionage act of 1917
. the sedition act forbade an american to use "disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language" about the united states government
, or armed forces
. the act also allowed the postmaster general
to deny mail delivery to dissenters.
socialist eugene v. debs
was sentenced to 10 years in prison under this law.
the usa patriot act (uniting and strengthening america by providing appropriate tools required to intercept and obstruct terrorism act of 2001) 
3162, s. 1510, public law
107-56) is an act of federal legislation
in the united states
enacted by the u.s. congress
after the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
, the act enhances the authority of u.s. law enforcement for the stated purpose of investigating and preempting potential terrorist acts
in the united states and around the world. because the usa patriot act is a revision of the foreign intelligence surveillance act
(fisa), this enhanced legal authority is also used to detect and prosecute other alleged potential crimes
note: the bill
in the united states senate
, and 357-66
in the united states house of representatives
(who did you vote for?)
the site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/usa_patriot_act
has awesome information. i highly encourage all to become informed on these topics.