About John Adams

John Adams was an amazing man. He helped to bring independence to our country. He risked his life and everything that he had in order to get that independence. Let’s look at his life and some of his many accomplishments.

John Adams was born on October 29, 1735. He was actually named John Adams, Jr. after his father. He was the oldest of two boys. He married Abigail Smith in 1764 and they had six children. John Adams went to Harvard to become a minister. He graduated in 1755 and taught for a few years after. He decided that he didn’t like what he was doing and so began to study law with James Putnam. He then became a lawyer and studied and analyzed political history.

In 1765 the Stamp Act was introduced to the colonies. John Adams wrote several anonymous letters to the Boston Gazette about how unfair the Act was to the colonists. He explained that the Act took away the right to be tried by a jury of the people and the right to be taxed only by the agreement of the people, or its representation. He argued that the colonists had no representation in Parliament and so the law didn’t apply to them. It was the beginning of the phrase “No taxation without representation.”

John Adams was again brought to the spotlight after the Boston Massacre occurred. He was representing the British soldiers who had been involved. He was hesitant to represent them but he decided to anyways. Many of the soldiers weren’t found guilty and only two were found guilty of a lesser charge. John Adam’s basically won the case. He was paid very little for representing the case, when he had said that it was the hardest case he had ever worked on, up to that point in time.

When arguments started because Parliament wanted to charge the colonists more taxes, John Adams again started arguing back. He wrote a couple letters to the governor of Massachusetts explaining why the taxes were again unfair. He argued that the taxes were basically illegal and that if Britain decided to tax them anyway, that the colonies would declare their independence.

They did declare their independence and the American Revolution began. John Adams was a member of both of the Continental Congresses. He was regarded as a great leader. Even though Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, most of it was John Adams’ ideas. He asked Jefferson to write it because he felt that Jefferson was a much better writer.

George Washington became the first President of the United States and John Adams became his Vice President. John Adams became the second President of the United States and was the first one to live in the White House. During his presidency, he made a point of staying out of any foreign wars, specifically the French and British War, but made his political party much more divided than before. Many people in his own party were against his policies and it led to him not being re-elected for a second term in office. He also helped to negotiate a peace treaty between Britain and the United States. It was the beginning of the rebuilding of the relationship between the now two different countries.

John Adams also appointed several judges before he left office in 1801. They were often called the “midnight judges” because most of them were given the positions days before Thomas Jefferson became the new President. Jefferson got rid of many of them but John Marshall, who John Adams appointed stayed and became the Chief Justice. He made the Judicial Branch a key contributor and equal to the Legislative and Executive branches. His policies were fair and constitutional. John Adams died on July 4, 1826.

Learn more with these John Adams websites.

Cite This Page

"About John Adams." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Nov. 2008. Web. 28 Aug. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/101/about-john-adams/ >.

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