John Adams

2nd U.S. President


Adams was elected to the Massachusetts Assembly. He was one of five to represent the colony at the First Continental Congress, in 1774. Adams nominated George Washington as commander-in-chief for the Continental Army in 1775.

In May 1776, Congress approved Adams's idea, proposing that the colonies each adopt independent governments. He wrote the preamble to this resolution, which was approved on May 15. This set the stage for the formal passage of the Declaration of Independence. On June 7, 1776, Adams seconded Richard Henry Lee's resolution of independence, and backed it up until it was adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776. Congress appointed Adams, along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston and Roger Sherman, to draft the declaration. Jefferson was to write the first draft, which was approved on July 4.

Eventually, Adams was serving on as many as 90 committees in the fledgling government. This was more than any other Congressman. In 1777, he became the head of the Board of War and Ordinance, which oversaw the Continental army. Adams happened to be one of the American diplomats sent to negotiate the Treaty of Paris in 1779. This brought an end to the Revolutionary War. Once the war ended, Adams remained in Europe. From 1784 to 1785, he arranged treaties of commerce with several European nations. Adams became the first U.S. minister to England in 1785 as well.

In 1788, after nearly ten years in Europe,Adams returned home. In 1789, he was placed on the ballot for America's first presidential election. Although, George Washington received the highest number of electoral votes and was elected president. In accordance with the Constitutional provision set for presidential elections at that time, Adams was to become Vice President. The same result occurred in the 1792 election. During both terms, Adams grew increasingly frustrated with his position as he did not have much sway with Washington on political or legal issues.


- the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles

- We know John Adams had great integrity since he was elected for many different committees, assemblies, etc..


- Citizenship is the status of being a citizen

- John Adams showed his citizenship when he went to Europe to negotiate the Treaty of Paris.