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John Adams the 2nd President of the US

John Adams
Date of Birth: October 30, 1735
Death July 4, 1826
Presidential Term March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
Political Party Federalist

Bio : 
Second President of the United States John Adams was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (in what is now called Quincy, Massachusetts), to a family descended from the founding Puritans who colonized the region starting in 1638. His father, John Adams Sr. was a Congregationalist deacon, farmer, and lieutenant in the militia, who had community political duties serving as a town councilman.

Adams attended Harvard College, receiving his bachelor of arts degree in 1755. He returned to Harvard after a few years of teaching, deciding to become a lawyer and receiving his master's in 1758. In 1764, Adams married Abigail Smith, and the two had six children, including future US president, John Quincy.

When the Stamp Act was introduced in 1765, Adams's vocal opposition to the act was one of the first steps toward American independence from Britain. Adams wrote the famous Braintree Instructions and articles that appeared anonymously in the Boston Gazette, which defended the rights of the colonies to trial by a jury of peers and also that taxation required consent. Later that year Adams gave a speech in front of government officials. These were the first steps in John Adams's political journey, which guided him to become one of the Founding Fathers of the United States as leader during the fight for independence.

After the Boston Massacre, John Adams was asked to represent several colonial soldiers who had participated in the event. Adams was successful in defending the accused, and most of them were soon freed.

Full Name:John Adams
Date of Birth:October 30, 1735, Braintree, Massachusetts
Died on:July 4, 1826, Quincy, Massachusetts
Burial site:First Unitarian Church, Quincy, Massachusetts
Parents:John and Susanna Boylston Adams
Spouse:Abigail Smith (1744-1818; m. 1764)
Children:Abigail Amelia (1765-1813); John Quincy (1767-1848); Susanna (1768-1770); Charles (1770-1800); Thomas Boylston (1772-1832)
Education:Harvard College (B.A., 1755)
Profession(s):Farmer; Teacher; Attorney
Government ranks:Continental Congressman; minister to France, the Netherlands, and England; vice president under George Washington
Political Party:Federalist
President Term:March 4, 1797-March 4, 1801
Age when assumed office:61
Outcome of the Elections
1796Presidential / Vice Presidential Candidates Popular VotesElectoral Votes
John Adams (Federalist)-----71
Thomas Jefferson (Democratic-Republican)-----68
Thomas Pinckney (Federalist)-----59
Aron Burr (Democratic-Republican)-----30
Snapshot of Ronald Reagan's life
1735Born in Massachusetts
1755-1758Teaches grammar school
1756Begins studying law
1758Admitted to the bar of the State of Massachusetts
1773Serves in Massachusetts state legislature
1774Serves as delegate to First Continental Congress and to Second Continental Congress (1775)
1779Elected to Massachusetts Constitutional Convention and writes the state constitution
1780-85Serves as U.S. Envoy in France and the Netherlands; member of negotiation committee for the Treaty of Paris, 1783
1785-88Serves as U.S. Minister to Britain
1789-97Serves as vice president under George Washington
1796-1801Serves as second U.S. President
1826Dies in Massachusetts
Presidential Term and its details
Dates:March 4, 1797-March 4, 1801
Vice President:Thomas Jefferson (1797-1801)

Adams represented Massachusetts in the First Continental Congresses in 1777, and the second from 1775 to 1777. Though many who fought in the war initially sought reconciliation with Britain, Adams knew independence was the answer.

His legal background made him the go-to guy for laying the foundations for the new government. He published (with the help of Richard Henry Lee) “Thoughts on Government” in April of 1776, which highly influenced later state constitutions. He argued for Republicanism and bicameralism, and outlined the separation of powers in the three branches of government.

Adams was part of the Committee of Five (along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman) who drafted the Declaration of Independence. Adams played an important role in the document's drafting and later helped to defend it before Congress.

In 1789, John Adams became the first Vice President of the United States under the administration of George Washington and was reelected along with Washington in 1792. He was viewed by the public as pompous, and earned the nickname "His Rotundity". He joined the Federalist Party when it was formed and became their nominee for president in the 1796 election.

Presidency (1797-1801) : 
Adams ran as the Federalist Party nominee for President, along with Thomas Pinckney, another Federalist candidate, and was opposed by the Democratic-Republican Party's Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Adams won narrowly, with 71 electoral votes to Jefferson's 68, making Jefferson his vice president.

Adams continued many of Washington's policies, keeping his cabinet members, but often acting independently. Despite being a member of the Federalist Party, Adams was not in line with many other members.

The presidential move Adams seemed to be most proud of (even having it engraved on his tombstone) was pushing for peace with France when much of the country were against it. Though it probably led to the loss of his reelection campaign, Adams was decisively against being involved in the conflicts of Europe, following the example and advice of his predecessor, Washington.

Adams, along with other Federalists in Congress, signed the Alien and Sedition Acts, which set new rules for naturalization and deportation of immigrants as well as making publishing anti-government false and malicious a crime. This move was controversial and hurt interactions between members of Congress.

Adams lost his reelection campaign in 1800, and was defeated by rival Thomas Jefferson, attributed in part to the three-fifths compromise in the South. Before he left office, in an effort to keep some lasting power, Adams appointed several judges to the newly created courts, who became known as the Midnight Judges for their last-minute appointments.

Post-Presidency : 
Adams was one of four presidents who chose not to attend the inauguration of his successor, Thomas Jefferson. Instead, Adams returned home to Quincy, Massachusetts and began working on his autobiography.

Though initially bitter about his defeat, Adams and Jefferson reconciled in 1812, once Jefferson had finished serving his two terms in office. Letters between the two Founding Fathers, including discussions on the role of government, have become important pieces of US history, providing insight into the political climate of Revolutionary and newborn America as well as their personalities.

John Quincy Adams, the son of John Adams, was elected President in 1825, just over a year before John Adams died. Sixteen months later, on the Declaration of Independence's 50th anniversary, Adams reflected on the historic day remarking, “It is a great day. It is a good day.” Later that day, at 90 years old Adams died. His last words are frequently reported to have been “Thomas Jefferson survives,” though the final word may not have been spoken. Coincidentally, Thomas Jefferson, fellow signer of the Declaration, and his friend, had died a few hours prior, unbeknownst to Adams.

Last Updated : October 26, 2013