United States and American History: 1798

About the history of the United States in 1798, the Alien and Sedition Act, the argument for state's rights, ties with France are severed.


-Alcuin: A Dialogue by Charles Brockden Brown is said to be the 1st sustained and earnest argument for the rights of women to appear in this country.

-After the failure of the French mission, fear of war with France prompted Congress to pass measures to strengthen national defense. George Washington was called from retirement to serve as commander in chief; existing treaties with France were repealed, and 2 years of undeclared war with France began.

-The Alien and Sedition Act was passed by Congress. This gave the President power to imprison or deport any foreigner believed to be dangerous to the U.S., and made it a crime to attack the Government with "false, scandalous, or malicious" statements or writings.

-The Kentucky and Virginia resolutions, drawn up by Madison and Jefferson, declared the Alien and Sedition Act contrary to the Constitution in that it interfered with the powers of the States. From these resolutions grew the doctrines of States' rights.

Mar. 9 George Balfour was appointed 1st surgeon in the Navy.

Apr. 20 "Hail Columbia," the patriotic song written by Joseph Hopkinson, was published in Porcupine's Gazette. It was introduced to audiences by actor Gilbert Fox as a patriotic spur when war with France appeared inevitable.

Apr. 30 The Navy Dept. established.

July 9 U. S. S. Delaware captured French ship Croyable. Capt. Stephen Decatur, Sr., sighted 4 French schooners while cruising off the Atlantic Coast. Pretending to be anxious to avoid them he turned away and one schooner gave chase. Decatur let it approach, then suddenly turned to give battle. The Frenchman, discovering he was facing a warship, attempted to escape. A few rounds from the Delaware's guns forced him to surrender. The privateer Croyable was taken into Philadelphia and renamed the U. S. S. Retaliation.

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