John Adams

John Adams
Stout elderly man in his 60s with long white hair, facing partway leftward
John Adams by Gilbert Stuart c. 1800–1815
2nd President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Vice PresidentThomas Jefferson
Preceded byGeorge Washington
Succeeded byThomas Jefferson
1st Vice President of the United States
In office
April 21, 1789 – March 4, 1797
PresidentGeorge Washington
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byThomas Jefferson
1st United States Minister to the United Kingdom
In office
April 1, 1785 – February 20, 1788[1]
Appointed byCongress of the Confederation
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byThomas Pinckney
1st United States Minister to the Netherlands
In office
April 19, 1782 – March 30, 1788[1]
Appointed byCongress of the Confederation
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byCharles W. F. Dumas (acting)
United States Envoy to France
In office
November 28, 1777[2][3] – March 8, 1779
Preceded bySilas Deane
Succeeded byBenjamin Franklin
Chairman of the Marine Committee
In office
October 13, 1775 – October 28, 1779
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byFrancis Lewis (Continental Board of Admiralty)
Delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress
In office
September 5, 1774 – November 28, 1777
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded bySamuel Holten
Personal details
Born(1735-10-30)October 30, 1735
Braintree, Massachusetts Bay, British America (now Quincy)
DiedJuly 4, 1826(1826-07-04) (aged 90)
Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.
Resting placeUnited First Parish Church
Political party
Spouse(s)
(m. 1764; died 1818)
Children6, including Abigail, John Quincy, Charles, Thomas
Parents
EducationHarvard University (AB, AM)
SignatureCursive signature in ink

John Adams (October 30, 1735[a] – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, attorney, diplomat, writer, and Founding Father who served as the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. Before his presidency, he was a leader of the American Revolution that achieved independence from Great Britain, and he served as the first vice president of the United States. Adams was a dedicated diarist and regularly corresponded with many important figures in early American history, including his wife and adviser Abigail Adams and Thomas Jefferson.[5]

A lawyer and political activist prior to the revolution, Adams was devoted to the right to counsel and presumption of innocence.[6] He defied anti-British sentiment and successfully defended British soldiers against murder charges arising from the Boston Massacre.[5] Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and became a leader of the revolution. He assisted in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain and secured vital governmental loans. Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which influenced the United States constitution, as did his essay Thoughts on Government.[7]

Adams was elected to two terms as vice president under President George Washington and was elected as the United States' second president in 1796. He was the only president elected under the banner of the Federalist Party.[8] During his single term, Adams encountered fierce criticism from the Jeffersonian Republicans and from some in his own Federalist Party, led by his rival Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts and built up the Army and Navy in the Quasi-War with France. During his term, he became the first president to reside in the executive mansion now known as the White House.[9]

In his bid for reelection, opposition from Federalists and accusations of despotism led to Adams losing to Thomas Jefferson.[10] Adams retired to Quincy, Massachusetts. He eventually resumed his friendship with Jefferson by initiating a correspondence that lasted 14 years.[11] Adams and his wife, Abigail, begat a family that has made contributions to the America's political and intellectual life for more than 150 years, a family that included their son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States.[12] Adams and Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.[5] Of the first 12 U. S. presidents, Adams and his son are the only presidents who did not own slaves in their lives.[13] Adam's presidency has been assessed favourably by historians, but due to multiple controversies arising from his presidency, he was the first U.S president to only serve one term in office.

  1. ^ a b "John Adams (1735–1826)". United States Department of State: Office of the Historian. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "To John Adams from Daniel Roberdeau, 28 November 1777". Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society. Retrieved May 10, 2020. I congratulate you or rather my Country in the choice of you this day as a Commissioner to France for the united States, in lieu of Mr. Dean who is recalled.
  3. ^ United States. Continental Congress; Ford, Worthington Chauncey; Hunt, Gaillard; Fitzpatrick, John Clement; Hill, Roscoe R.; Harris, Kenneth E.; Tilley, Steven D.; Library of Congress. Manuscript Division (1904). Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. University of California Libraries. Washington: U.S. Govt. print off. p. 975. Retrieved May 10, 2020. Congress proceeded to the election of a commissioner to the Court of France in the room of S. Deane, Esqr. and, the ballots being taken, John Adams, a delegate in Congress from Massachusetts bay, was elected.
  4. ^ McCullough 2001, p. 599.
  5. ^ a b c Editors, History com. "John Adams". HISTORY. Retrieved 2021-02-16.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  6. ^ "A quote from The Portable John Adams". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  7. ^ "John Adams - Vice presidency and presidency". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  8. ^ "John Adams". Biography. Apr 27, 2017. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  9. ^ "History of the White House | Scholastic". www.scholastic.com. Retrieved 2020-12-02.
  10. ^ Editors, History com. "President John Adams oversees passage of first of Alien and Sedition Acts". HISTORY. Retrieved 2021-02-16.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Glass, Andrew (May 26, 2017). "Adams-Jefferson correspondence resumes, May 27, 1813". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  12. ^ Brittanica Editors (July 20, 1998). "Adams family | American political and intellectual family". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2021-02-16.
  13. ^ O'Neill, Aaron (July 29, 2020). "U.S. Presidents: number of slaves owned 1789-1877". Statista. Retrieved 2021-02-16.


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