France begins to capture American ships after U.S.
refuses to help them in war against Britain
Adams sent representatives to work out peace with
France. They were met by 3 secret agents who said
their names were “X”, “Y”, and “Z”
France says they won’t stop attacking ships unless U.S.
pays them off.
Adams refuses to pay and refuses to declare war on
France. “Not one penny for Tribute!”
Adams Tells American Ships they have permission to
fight back against the French.
War with France?!
I feel that John Adams
should choose to…
War with France?!
• A. Hamilton pushed John Adams to go to war with
• Adams knew America was not ready for another war.
• In February 1799, Adams sent representatives to work
out a peace treaty with France.
• Hamilton and the Federalists were furious at Adams and
turned there backs on him making him unpopular.
• Adams never regretted his decision to make peace
Alien and Sedition Acts
• Federalists in Congress passed the Alien and
Sedition Acts (4 laws). Created to make life
difficult for the Republicans.
– 3 of the laws made it difficult for immigrants to
become citizens and able to vote.
– 1 law made it illegal to say or print anything bad
about the government or the President.
• John Adams approved and signed them into
Opposition to the Acts
and States’ Rights
• Thomas Jefferson bitterly opposed
the Alien and Sedition Acts as a
violation of the rights of citizens
• James Madison wrote the Virginia
and Kentucky Resolutions. It
stated that if a stated decides a
law is unconstitutional, it has the
power to nullify (cancel) that law
within its borders
John Adams as President
• Adams kept the United States out of war with
France even though it cost him his career in
government and politics
• The Federalist Party turned their back on
Adams and Alexander Hamilton did not
support him in the Election of 1800.
• Thomas Jefferson and the Republicans
hated the Alien and Sedition Acts because
they violated the rights of Americans.
Grading John Adams…
I feel John Adams
earned… (A, B, C, or F) as