John Adams served as the second president of America under the auspices of the Federalist Party. Prior to his tenure, he was part of George Washington’s administration where he served as vice-president. The Harvard graduate, who spearheaded the American Revolution, started his career as a teacher and later as a legal representative in Massachusetts. He went on to gain a reputation for his intelligence and patriotism as well as for being painfully blunt and opinionated. Adams was one of the greatest critics of the authority imposed on colonial America by the British government. According to his views, Britain imposed high tariffs and taxes on the American citizenry as a form of oppression.
John Adams held several other prestigious posts before his emergence as the U.S second president, however, his bid for re-election was frustrated by Thomas Jefferson who defeated him. Read on to find out other interesting facts about him.
Who was John Adams?
John Adams was born as the first child of Susanna Boylston and John Adams Sr. in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the 30th of October 1735. As at that time, five generations of the Adams family had been residents of Massachusetts. Adam Sr. was a Harvard graduate farmer who also functioned as a salesman for Braintree town as well as a deacon with the Braintree’s First Congregational Church. He was raised alongside two brothers; Elihu and Peter Boylston.
A young John Adams learned how to read from his dad who later sent him to an educational center under Mrs. Belcher, their neighbor in the locality. After a while, he joined Cleverly’s Latin school, following which he studied under the tutelage of Joseph Marsh before proceeding to Harvard at age 15 in 1751.
On completing his college graduation, Adams took up paid employment as a teacher, but in the long run, he made the decision to study law. His law training was accomplished under Harvard graduate Judge James Putnam who would later become attorney general of Massachusetts. He was called to bar in 1758.
Interesting Facts About The 2nd U.S. President
1. Love Life
It would interest you to know that John Adams was nine years older than his wife, Abigail Smith. They were actually third cousins and Abigail was the daughter of a minister in Brooklyn. Their nuptials took place on the 25th of October 1764, just a few days before Adam’s 29th birthday while his bride was approaching her twenties.
Regardless of the age difference, Adams’ wife happened to be a highly spirited lady who loved to read and perhaps, that was how she succeeded in building an affectionate and enduring bond with her spouse as indicated by a good number of their surviving correspondence.
The couple’s marriage lasted till Abigail’s death in 1818 and their marriage was blessed by six children. The first child Abigail came in 1765 and she soon became a sister to John Quincy in 1767. (Quincy later emerged as the sixth president of the United States). Susanna, their third child, followed a year later in 1768 while Charles and Thomas Boylston joined the family in 1770 and 1772 respectively. Elizabeth, the last born came after five years in 1777.
2. Presidential Tenure
The Federalist Party nominated John Adams for the presidential elections in 1796, while Thomas Jefferson led the opposition for the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams emerged victorious in the elections which made him the second president of the U.S.
Adams’ tenure as the president was marked by a war that broke out between Great Britain and France which brought major political difficulties for the U.S. The diplomatic efforts of his administration were focused on France, as the government of the country had already suspended commercial relations. It happened that France declined to negotiate with the three commissioners who were sent to France by the U.S president on the grounds that America should pay what was tantamount to fraud. When this information got out, the entire nation called for war which John Adams declined to declare, despite several naval hostilities.
The undeclared war came to an end in 1800, and by then, Adams had significantly lost popularity with the masses. Consequently, his re-election bid in 1800 was lost to his old rival Thomas Jefferson, who emerged victorious with just a margin of few electoral votes.
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3. Death and Legacy
After he lost the presidential elections, John Adams went back home to Quincy, Massachusetts and proceeded to invest quality time into writing his autobiography, including several correspondences with many of his old friends. In the process, he managed to reconcile with his political opponent Thomas Jefferson.
Adams died at the age of 90 on the 4th of July 1826 in his Quincy home, just some hours after Thomas Jefferson’s death. He will be remembered for his contributions to world politics, as one of the key personalities during the American Revolution as well as the early years of the U.S.
Aside from Jefferson, he was the only other president who was part of the founding fathers and was instrumental in signing the Declaration of Independence. Majority of his time in office was dominated by the French crises which put him on the firing line of the opposition following the actions he took concerning the issue. However, through his actions or inactions, the fledging U.S was able to avoid war which gave them the needed time to grow as well as develop.
Adam Lived long enough to see his first son John Quincy Adams become the 6th president of the United States through the Democratic-Republicans which was the opposition during his dad’s time.