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Crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction. Because it is limited to organizing and encouraging opposition to government rather than directly participating in its overthrow, sedition is regarded as falling one step short of the more serious crime of treason. In the U.S. the display of a certain flag or the advocacy of a particular movement, such as syndicalism, anarchism, or communism, has periodically been declared seditious. More recently, the courts have applied a more stringent test of sedition to ensure that constitutional guarantees regarding freedom of speech are not abridged. See alsoAlien and Sedition Acts.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sedition, visit Britannica.com.