America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.
- Adlai Stevenson -

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John Adams: Forged in the Face of Adversity

John Adams was born on October 30, 1735, in a place called the north precinct of Braintree, Massachusetts. John Adams was born in a colony, a chartered province in a new land. He was born into a family of puritans and he grew to value and respect the system of the organization. He attended school at the then Harvard College and later became a teacher then a lawyer.

John Adams married his third cousin, Abigail Smith just before he turned 29. Abigail was the daughter of a Massachusetts minister. Together, John and Abigail had five children although his youngest child was a stillborn. His oldest son John Quincy later became president of the United States following in the footsteps of his father.

John Adams was the second cousin of Samuel Adams; however, John was unfortunately not initially as popular as Samuel. John often faced opposition and contention in his political dealings and was often not looked upon in a positive manner.

Adams was a strong opponent of the Stamp Act imposed by England in 1765.  He felt that the act took away two basic rights from the colonists. He decided that the Stamp Act was therefore invalid. Adams was later asked to be a lawyer for soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre and was able to free six of the soldier and only two were convicted of manslaughter.

Later, Adams was sent as a representative from Massachusetts to the first and second Continental Congress. He maintained a view that there should be unity within the colonies and the colonies should be permanently severed from England. Adams was able to influence the Congress quite a bit and soon he Congress because to draft independent constitutions in order to become independent states and free from Britain’s power.

Adams published a pamphlet entitled Thoughts on Government explaining his advice about governments and like the title says, his thoughts on the idea of government. In this pamphlet, Adams explains that social class is a part of every society and thus unavoidable so government should just accept it. Adams believed that a republic was all about the final solution rather than the steps taken to get there. He felt that the one good thing about the British republic was the idea that laws are above men.

John Adams was part of a committee along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingtston and Roger Sherman who drafted the Declaration of Independence. The document was written mostly by Jefferson as he had excellent penmanship[ and was widely respected and intelligent. Adams was considered the Declaration’s best advocated and defender.

Adams spend some time in Europe to represent the American union. He was also involved in receiving more land for America and maintaining trade relations between the States and Prussia. John Adams became the first ambassador to Great Britain and worked with King George III to maintain a good relationship between Great Britain and the newly formed United States.

Adams became the first vice president of the United Stated of America under George Washington and later the second president of the United States of America. As president he focused a great deal on foreign policy.

John Adams once said, "People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity," and I believe this to be true. John Adams was not always admired and looked upon positively. He definitely came through adversity to become one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers. 

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