What Is the Insurrection Act?

The Insurrection Act gives American presidents the power to deploy active duty soldiers to maintain or restore peace in times of crisis. The Insurrection Act was invoked many times in the 20th century, including when Dwight D. Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to enforce the desegregation of public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.

But the origins of the Insurrection Act date back over 200 years to a strange chapter in American history – when Aaron Burr plotted to raise an army and establish his own dynasty in Louisiana or Mexico.

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