2. John Adams

John Adams, one of our great leaders for independence,second president and a great diplomat was born in 1735. John Adams was known as a political philosopher, but was very frustrated by politics. The biggest thorn in his side during his prime political years was the determined Thomas Jefferson.

Before the start of the Revolutionary War, John Adams was one of the leading voices to call for the independence of the colonies. He was also one of the main signers and helped in drafting the Declaration of Independence with Jefferson. During the Revolutionary War, John Adams was a diplomat and helped organize the treaty between Great Britain and the United States.

John Adams was also an abolitionist. In 1880, Adams wrote the majority of the Massachusetts state constitution which ended slavery in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, John Adams was in Europe when the federal constitution was ratified years later. If Adams was in the room during the writing of the US Constitution, then maybe the slavery issue could have been argued in the 1880s, instead the Civil War was fought in 1861-1865. Hundred of thousands of people would have been saved if Adam was in the country.

John Adams was vice President during the Washington administration by finishing second in the electoral college. As the first Vice-President, friction began to take effect with Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson would prove to be a major distraction during his presidency. John Adams was President from 1797-1801. John Adams is a president who is under-appreciated throughout history; his son John Quincy Adams would be the first father-son to serve as president.

Five pros/cons of his Presidency:


1. Kept America out of the Britain and French war. This was a war that could have brought either Britain or France onto US lands once again. The British or French could have decided to continue the conquest of the Colonies.

2. Peace with France. This was an important step for the US, without this peace then the Lousiana purchase wasn’t possible during the Jefferson administration.

3. Never in any scandal

4. Expanded the Navy and Army. The public was skeptical of a national army after the Revolutionary War, but Adams looked into the future and know the US needed to expand the Army and Navy. This would prove to be true during the War of 1812.

5. Judiciary Act of 1801. Although this was passed during the lame duck Congress and after John Adams lost reelection, but this helped shape our Judicial system. This created a set of federal appeals courts between the district courts and the Supreme Court.


1. Kept Washington’s cabinet. This was a mistake to keep Washington Cabinet. This was John Adams number one reason he didn’t win reelection. No president after Adams has ever kept the previous cabinet because of political gains. Hamilton and Jefferson was the main reason.

2. Never stayed in Washington during his presidency. By not staying in Washington, Adams opened the door for other in his cabinet to criticize him once out of town. How could he defend himself while out of Washington? His cabinet saw the opportunity to trash him, and Jefferson took advantage of this opportunity. After four years of mud slinging, Adams lost reelection to Jefferson.

3. Adams couldn’t tame Jefferson.

4. The first political party was formed under Adam’s watch, in fact; his own cabinet was involved. Adams never joined a political party which was the end of his presidency. If you’re not part of a political party, then it’s impossible to with office without an organized party. Adams lost to Jefferson by a 72 to 65 electoral college, Jefferson won because he was better organized.

5. Brought back Washington to head the Army during the British/France conflict. By bringing back Washington to be commander and chief proved he wasn’t military minded. To make matter worst, Washington chooses Hamilton to be his second in command. Due to Washington poor health, he passed the reigns to Hamilton. Adams was now out flanked by Jefferson and Hamilton. Adams power as president was marginalized by this act. Washington passed away in 1799. With Washington out of the way, Adams number one ally was gone and Jefferson harsh words for Adams sharpened.

Something you didn’t know about John Adams:

Adams outlived four of his six children as well as his wife. This is tough for an old man. John Adams was also absent the majority of the time during the 1770 and 1780s. He was close to neither child, but John Quincy Adams wanted to prove to his father that he was worthy. He became President from 1825-1829. He ran into Andrew Jackson, one of the most fearless presidents in history.

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