Officials who held the seat of power in government can greatly influence the thinking and action of those they govern. This kind of adage is usual observable in most governments as they make and implement various kinds of laws upon the citizens. However, if an abusive government take control of a country adverse consequence is likely to happen. It could threaten the very rights of the people including their sense of freedom. This exact idea is what John C. Miller discussed in his article, Crisis in Freedom: The Alien and Sedition Acts.
The article gave emphasis on the Federalist party that was leading the United States of America during the creation of the Alien and Sedition Acts. These Acts pertain to the measures that will protect the country from citizens of enemy power as well as safeguard the government from threats that attempt to destabilize it. The act was implemented during the time of the Franco-U. S. relationship crisis. The problematic association of these two countries became worst due to the X Y Z affairs, which accused the French government of demanding bribe in order to negotiate with the U.
S. The publicity of this event caused anti-French feeling from the American public. The Federalist party who was holding the majority seat and congress and also the favor of the administration took advantage of this situation for their political gain. However, the Republican party who oppose the administration and the Federalist did all they can in order to act against the rule they are imposing upon America (Miller, n. d. ). John Miller highlighted the conflict of beliefs between the Federalist and the Republican parties.
He discussed the political bickering that existed among them. This mainly involves the Republicans disagreement with the decisions and actions of the Federalist with regards to the anti-French sentiments that was taking place during that time. The Federalist took control of the country by using the threat of the French as the justification for their actions. This includes the passing the Alien and Sedition Acts, which the Federalist proposed in Congress and then, President Adams approved.
Nevertheless, in the perspective of the Republicans this is just one way of the administration in curtailing the public’s rights (Miller, n. d. ). Miller also argued that the Federalists struggle of the Republican’s disapproval was part of a battle between good and evil wherein the Federalist saw themselves as the better people. He even pointed out that the Federalists have the perception that there role was to eliminate anyone who poses a poses danger to the administration and the American society that they are leading.
They used the feeling of fear and hysteria of the people for their very own party purposes. He also characterized the Federalists as pessimists who distrust others especially those with Parisian blood and suspicious of some Americans loyalty for their country. This is the reason why they imposed the necessary measures in order to control any unnecessary uprising (Miller, n. d. ). The author gave the Federalist’s manipulation of the media as one clear example of how they infringed Americans right for freedom of speech.
They gave incentives to those journalist and publications that write about every law that the congress passed and other good things about the administration. On the other hand, they make things hard for those journalists who are on the side of the republicans. This is observable in the Federalist’s control of mails that imposed newspaper that wrote against them to pay postage fee. Moreover, even other institution like the Church was also in favor of the Federalists ideas, which they reinforce in their teachings and sermons during masses.
Being the case, the people were manipulated to adhere to this same kind of teaching and follow the decisions of the Federalists whether they agree to it or not. However, there are still some who stood their ground and represented those who oppose the Federalists’ view like the Republicans (Miller, n. d. ). Based on my personal perspective, Miller succeeded in giving a clear scenario of how party politics can affect the situation of a country’s citizens. He also made a commendable argument in showing that those in power have the tendency to manipulate a threat or crisis for their own advantage.
He was able to sustain his arguments with necessary supporting details and evidences in order to prove his claims. Due to this, as a reader, I was able to comprehend the message he wants to impart and made my own analysis about the subject matter. As such, I was able to realize that the government that was supposed to protect and uphold the rights of the people are actual capable of curtailing and infringing these human rights. Miller’s article was able to show that freedom could indeed be in crisis at times. Reference Miller, J. C. Crisis in Freedom: The Alien and Sedition Acts.
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