How did the United States react to the French seizing American ships?
March 1797-John Adams becomes President
During Adams' term, relations between the United States and France got worse.
The French did not like that the United States was trading with the British so they seized (captured) the American ships.
Adams sent diplomats to meet with the French to stop them from seizing ships.
XYZ Affair-3 French diplomats tell the Americans that the French foreign minister would stop seizing ships if the Americans give them money. (bribe)
American response: "NEVER!!!"
"Million for defense, but not one cent for tribute!"
The conflict with France made Adams and The Federalists very popular, but Republicans criticized The Federalists.
Alien and Sedition Acts 1798
Alien Act-The President could expel any foreigner thought to be dangerous.
Sedition Act-made it illegal to say anything false or harmful about the government
Opposition-"They have brought into the lower house a sedition bill, which...undertakes to make printing certain matters criminal...Indeed this bill and the alien bill both are so against the Constitution as to show they mean to pay no respect to it."--Jefferson
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions-Jefferson and Madison believe that states have the right to judge whether a law is unconstitutional (states rights)