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John Adams

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Brooklyn Museum - Portrait of John Adams - Samuel Finley Breese Morse - overall
Brooklyn Museum - Portrait of John Adams - Samuel Finley Breese Morse - overall
John Adams summary: John Adams and John Quincy Adams are often confused as being the same person, when in actuality it is father and son. John Adams was the 2nd president of the United States. He was born in Massachusetts in 1735, and he later attended Harvard College. He studied law after his graduation, and in 1758, he became a member of the Massachusetts bar. Among his legal triumphs was his defense of the eight British soldiers that were part of the Boston Massacre. Adams later became a member of the Continental Congress, where he was a member of the committee responsible for writing the Declaration of Independence. He later served as a diplomat, along with Benjamin Franklin, to France and he became an American minister to Britain.

From 1789 to 1797, he served as vice president to George Washington before going on to become the second President of the US. He was a member of the Federalist Party, and he defeated Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1796 for president. Losing by only three electoral votes, Jefferson became his vice president. In terms of his accomplishments as president, Adams is best known for maintaining peace between the United States and France. John Adams lived the last few months of his presidency in the White House, which was not completely finished while he was in office. John Adams lost his bid for re-election to Thomas Jefferson in 1800. His son, John Quincy Adams, won the presidential election in 1824; Adams died two years later.


Articles Featuring John Adams From History Net Magazines

Letters to American History: April ’00 LettersTHE REAL THOMAS PAINE? In his article on Thomas Paine ("Revolution with Pen & Ink," February 2000), William Kashatus is to be lauded for shedding some light on the enormous role Thomas Paine played in the American Revolution–a role shamefully ignored in this country. The author is quite correct in depicting a man dedicated to …
The Final Days: December ’99 American History FeatureThe Final Days George Washington had fought and won a war, served two terms as the new nation’s first president, and kept that nation on an even keel. After all that, could he be satisfied with retirement on his country estate? by John Ferling Festive crowds had greeted George Washington on many occasions when he …
Order vs. Liberty: October ’98 American History FeatureWhen Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, it opened a heated debate about the limits of freedom in a free society. By Larry Gragg On July 4, 1798, the citizens of the capital city of Philadelphia turned out in large numbers to celebrate the nation’s independence day. While militia companies marched through …
1796: The First Real Election – Cover Page: December ’96 American History Feature1796: The First Real Election BY JOHN FERLING WHEN GEORGE WASHINGTON ANNOUNCED THAT HE WOULD RETIRE FROM OFFICE, HE SET THE STAGEFOR THE NATION’S FIRST TWO-PARTY PRESIDENTIALCAMPAIGN. On the day in April 1789 that he took the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City as the first president of the United States, …

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