Founding Brothers

How did Madison and Jefferson respond to the Alien and Sedition Acts?



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Adams was instrumental in passing this act. He took these drastic steps in response to the French foreign threat. James Madison argued that the Sedition Act attacked the "right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people." Thomas Jefferson saw the act as an attack on the principle American value, "to think freely and to speak and write what they think."