John Adams DOI

John Adams was born 30 October 1735 in Braintree Massachusetts, was raised a Congregationalist and later became a Unitarian. He was educated at Harvard and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1761. He was elected to Massachusetts assembly in 1770; attended the Attended First Continental Congress, 1774to 1776; Signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776; appointed diplomat to France from 1776 to 1779; Elected first Vice President, in1789; 2nd President, in 1796. John Adams was a statesman, diplomat, political terrorist; a lawyer in Boston; and a leading champion of independence in 1776. He represented Enlightenment values in promoting republicanism. He was defeated for reelection by Thomas Jefferson in 1800, retiring to Massachusetts in that year. He was the father of the sixth US President, John Quincy Adams.

Imposed by the British Parliament, John was highly opposed to the stamp act of 1765. John delivered a speech to the governor and council in December of 1776, and pronounced the Stamp Act invalid on the grounds that Massachusetts was not represented in Parliament and did not give its consent to it. John represented Massachusetts in both the first and second Continental Congresses of 1774 and from 1775 to 1777. HE nominated George Washington of Virginia to be commander in chief of the army.. He wanted nothing less than complete separation from British rule. He was appointed to a committee with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman, to draft a Declaration of Independence. Written primarily by Jefferson, Adams occupied the foremost place in the debate on its adoption.

Although George Washington was elected President with 69 electoral votes, John came in second with 36 and became Vice President and as president of the Senate he cast 29 tie-breaking votes. The 1796 election was the first contested election under the First Party System. Adams was the presidential candidate of the Federalist Party while Thomas Pinckney, Governor of South Carolina, oppose John and was also running as a Federalist. There were no running mates as whoever came in second would be the Vice President. John Adams followed the lead of George Washington by example of republican values, and was never implicated in any scandal, although some consider his worst mistake was not appointing his own people to the cabinet, preferring instead to keep the old cabinet of George Washington in place. John’s administration was marked by disputes over foreign policy concerning France and Britain who were at war. The Federalists favored Britain, while Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans favored France.

The death of George Washington in 1799 weakened the Federalist party for the reelection of Adams in 1800 Losing to Thomas Jefferson by the narrow vote of 65 to 73 with New York casting the deciding electoral votes. John Adams died on 4 July 1826 the the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died at his home in Quincy.

Although Adams was never a Deist he did use Deistic terms in his speeches and his writings. As a Unitarian he did not believe in the divinity of Jesus. He further believed Christianity was being misinterpreted and misused as superstition, unscrupulous power, and fraud. He also believed in miracles and in the suspension of natural laws.


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