In 1798, President John Adams signed a bill into law criminalizing speech critical of the federal government. Today, the feds take a more subtle approach to controlling speech, but the spirit of the Sedition Act lives on.Details
The freedom of speech is one of the most fundamental rights we possess. This basic natural right is not contingent upon laws or social traditions. Essentially, it is nothing short of inalienable and universal between all peoples at all times. However, in practice, it seldom observed as such. From the early Tolerance Act of 1689 to current “Free Speech Zones” across American universities, men have tried to quell this freedom.Details
America has had a long tradition of political discourse. Enough so, that a whole governmental system was developed with strong recognition of our disagreements. Throughout American history, men of great courage stood up for what they thought was right, even when others scorned them. Most notably were the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799, respectively.Details
No protesting the government? No freedom of the press? Lawmakers jailed? Is this the story of the Soviet Union during the Cold War?
No. It describes the United States in 1798 after the passage of the Sedition Act.Details