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Liberty's first crisis : Adams, Jefferson, and the misfits who saved free speech

Author: Charles Slack
Publisher: New York, NY : Atlantic Monthly Press, [2015]
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
When the United States government passed the Bill of Rights in 1791, its uncompromising protection of speech and of the press were unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But by 1798, the once-dazzling young republic of the United States was on the verge of collapse: Partisanship gripped the weak federal government, British seizures threatened American goods and men on the high seas, and war with France  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Nonfiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Charles Slack
ISBN: 9780802123428 0802123422
OCLC Number: 903583256
Description: 340 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: The road to sedition --
The jaws of power --
The fever breaks --
The parchment barrier.
Responsibility: Charles Slack.

Abstract:

When the United States government passed the Bill of Rights in 1791, its uncompromising protection of speech and of the press were unlike anything the world had ever seen before. But by 1798, the once-dazzling young republic of the United States was on the verge of collapse: Partisanship gripped the weak federal government, British seizures threatened American goods and men on the high seas, and war with France seemed imminent as its own democratic revolution deteriorated into terror. Suddenly, the First Amendment, which protected harsh commentary of the weak government, no longer seemed as practical. So that July, President John Adams and the Federalists in control of Congress passed an extreme piece of legislation that made criticism of the government and its leaders a crime punishable by heavy fines and jail time. Here, writer Charles Slack tells the story of the 1798 Sedition Act, the crucial moment when high ideals met real-world politics and the country's future hung in the balance.

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Praise for Liberty's First Crisis "Just a few years after the 1791 adoption of the First Amendment . . . the Federalists in the John Adams administration felt sufficiently threatened by their Read more...

 
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