History has always been a successful means to understand the ways of success, the mistakes which were made, and the necessity to give an added gloss to the situation occurred. The American political crisis of 1798 was one of those significant political processes which demonstrate the evolvement of diplomacy and democracy in the U.S.A. and in the world.
The crisis of 1798 was the first notable one, which lead to bringing the American federalism into question. It also resulted in “a strong rights’ stand by Thomas Jefferson and James Medison” (Chambers, Vatson, Prenshaw 38). Both of them admitted that the adopted laws threatened the freedom of speech and made an abundance of difficulties for the federal government and their power to enact such kinds of laws. On the other hand, the challenge was mostly not on the freedom of speech but on the rights of the states. Besides this, tension between two powerful states, France and the U.S.A., played an integral role in the crisis. It could be notified as the finally resolved one only in 1800, when Thomas Jefferson became the President of the U.S.A.
The factors and views on the American crysis
There are different views on the American political crisis of 1798 and the factors which became the chief causes of its start although, in late 1798, two publications, which were considered to be more than different, were denoted to find some rare ground. “In the opening article of its first edition, the Anti-Jacobin Review commented favourably on the American activities of Federalist printer and writer William Cobbett, remarking that the pieces he had written during the diplomatic crisis with France had given ‘a proper tone to the public spirit in America’” (Pasley 274). In the Independent Chronicle, it was defined that the antidemocratic print was one of the reasons of the American political crisis of 1798 as, at that period of time, the propaganda of the principles which lead to horror and disgust caused an abundance of people insurrections.
Furthermore, another domestic factor, which had an impact on the American political situation in 1798 was the resolution, which “was filled with cries of oppression, slavery, loss of liberty, and ruin as a result of a standing army” (Dawson 99). Although Adams notified that there was no one “whose political principles are not friendly to our government” (Dawson 99).
Moreover, The Alien and Sedition Acts became one of the components included in the cause of the American crisis of 1798. At that moment, the Federalists played an integral role in their creation as they understood the risks of the growing popularity of their opponents. This was the reason why it was decided to create the Acts. In one of their parts, the situation, which was current in the Republic, was represented. “Its first major political crisis to which the freedom of the American people was a stake” (McFerran 113) was observed there, as well.
Competitiveness between two influential political leaders, Thomas Jefferson, who was a Federalist, and Alexander Hamilton, who was a Republican, was one more reason of the political crisis and the adoption of the Alien and Sedition Acts. They allowed the imprisonment and the deportation of all politicians who were not the legal citizens of the state. The majority of Republicans were newly arrived immigrants.
In spite of some domestic factors which influenced the crisis, the foreign politics of the U.S.A. was also more than prominent. The fact that the French decided to start confiscating the cargoes of the Americans and seizing their ships after the concluding of Jay’s treaty became one of such reasons (Wood 239). In 1797, Adams became a President. France decided not to divide the American nation from the political point of view. The Directory of this state refused to receive the elder brother of Thomas Pickney, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney who was sent to Paris under the objective of replacing Monroe; in addition “it announced that all neutral American ships carrying British goods were now liable to seizure and that all American sailors impressed onto British ships would be treated as pirates” (Wood 239). The response to this act of the Frenchmen was made by the President Adams’ calling of the Congress in 1797. After this historical event, the President had an opportunity to call up 80,000 militaries. He criticized France and accused it of dividing the American citizens from their government.
It is noteworthy to admit that the political crisis of 1798 was caused by both domestic and foreign factors. The domestic ones comprised the laws, which were adopted at that period of time and the inner political situation peculiar for this country. The foreign politics of the U.S.A. and France put a considerable impact on the situation occurred.