Constitution Day
ATT: Dinah Zeiger
JAMM - University of Idaho
P.O. Box 443178
Moscow, ID 83844-3178

FAX: (208) 885-6450


Phone: 208-885-6111
Toll-free: 88-88-UIDAHO
Fax: 208-885-9119
Student Union Building
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264


Phone: 208-334-2999
Fax: 208-364-4035
322 E. Front Street
Boise, ID 83702

Coeur d'Alene

Phone: 208-667-2588
Toll-free: 888-208-2268
Fax: 208-664-1272
1031 N. Academic Way,
Suite 242
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Idaho Falls

Phone: 208-282-7900
Fax: 208-282-7929
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 306
Idaho Falls, ID 83402

Picture of the Bill of Rights

Lesson 2: Speaking Freely: The Sedition Act of 1798

Secured by passage of the Bill of Rights in 1791, press freedom seemed guaranteed, that is until 1798 and passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The Sedition Act punished publication of “any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writing against the government of the United States or Congress or the President, with the intent to defame or to bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton and President John Adams, argued the laws were needed to protect the United States from foreign invaders and propagandists. Democratic-Republicans, the newly formed party led Jefferson and Madison, regarded the Sedition Act as a direct threat to individual liberty and a political barrier to a free press.

Speaking Freely: The Sedition Act of 1798