Crnomelj Travel on When opposing political factions began to form around Secretary of the Treasury Alexander HAMILTON and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Adams became a principal leader of the Hamiltonian forces that coalesced into the Federalist Party. As the Federalist nominee for president in 1796, Adams defeated Jefferson, and, under the terms of the Constitution at the time, Jefferson became vice president. Despite the victory, Adams’ presidency soon became one of turmoil and disappointment. When in 1797 American diplomats were asked to pay a bribe to three French agents (referred to by Adams as X, Y, and Z) to obtain a treaty with France, Americans were enraged and an undeclared war developed between the United States and France. Despite demands that a formal declaration of war be adopted, Adams bravely resisted the pressure feeling that the country was unprepared for such an engagement, and he eventually reached an understanding with France in 1800. Although a full-scale war was prevented, Adam’s popularity was damaged and the Federalists were split. Believing that foreign agents and spies were fomenting trouble, the Federalist Congress passed, and Adams signed, the Alien and Sedition Act in 1798. Crnomelj Travel 2016.
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