Rights of the People


Each of the 4 events and documents exemplify efforts made by both common citizens and government to protest and protect rights of the people. Starting as early as 1798, the congress was firmly controlled by the Federalists. The fight against the Alien and Sedition Acts moved to the state legislatures - James Madison prepared the Virginia Resolutions and Thomas Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolutions. These documents explained how under the Rights of the people, the states had the duty to nullify within their borders those laws that were unconstitutional. The Alien and Sedition acts were unconstitutional because they infringed on the reserved powers of the states. The Webster-Hayne Debate was an unplanned series of debates that arose between Robert Hayne of South Carolina and Daniel Webster of Massachusetts over whether or not to limit the sales of western lands. The debate questioned whether or not the Western territories should be seen as public lands, or lands owned by the Federal government. Hayne believed in the independent rights of states while Webster argued that no state had the power to nullify a federal law or to secede from the union. Eventually, Webster’s assertions were printed and read by young Americans all across the US, who would eventually be drawn into the Civil War, in which one of the issues was individual state rights. Webster’s words essentially inspired an innumerable amount of young men to keep the Union intact. Hartford convention was a meeting of Federalist delegates near the end of the war of 1812 in which the party listed it's complaints with the Republican Party. The convention resulted in a declaration; calling on the federal government to protect New England and to supply financial aid to new England's trade economy. It also recommended for a few new changes to the constitutional amendments including the requirement of a two thirds majority vote to declare war. The South Carolina exposition and protest was written in 1828 by John C Calhoun during the nullification crisis the document was a protest against the tariff of 1828 it's stated that if the tariff was not repealed South Carolina would succeed and also stated calhouns doctrine of nullification (the idea of the state has the right to reject federal law)

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The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills that were passed by the Federalists in the 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798