John Adams

Furnish Period 4 - Group7

Early Life

  • Eldest of three sons
  • Born in Massachusetts
  • Father continued the Puritan religious tradition as a Congregationalist deacon, as well as farming, serving as a lieutenant in the militia, and serving as a selectman (town councilman)
  • Mother was a member of the Boylstons of Brookline (a medical family in the colony)

Role in Colonial Development

  • Was a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress
  • Helped persuade Congress to declare independence and helped Thomas Jefferson draft the Declaration of Independence
  • Assisted in negotiating a peace treaty with Great Britain and obtaining governmental loads from Amsterdam bankers
  • Became Washington's vice president and then the second president of the United States

Political Affiliation

  • Federalist Party
  • Federalist policies called for a national bank, tariffs, and a strong centralized government
  • John Adams was the only Federalist president of the United States


Definition: Citizenship can defined as the moral character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.

  • Statesman, diplomat, and strong advocate of American independence - he wanted freedom from Great Britain

  • Promoted republicanism and a strong central government

  • Assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence

  • Vice President to George Washington for 2 terms, and second president of the United States
  • John Adams was an opponent of the Stamp Act in 1765, and worked to defend colonial rights
  • Massachusetts sent Adams to both the first and the second Continental Congress


Integrity is the quality of having strong moral principles and values.

  • Following George Washington in the line of presidency, John Adams was left a young and fragile nation

  • In Europe, France and England were at war. John Adam's Federalist Party favored England, but the French government continuously pressured Adams to join, fighting against England.

  • Rather than pleasing his own party, Adams chose neutrality because another war would severely hurt the new nation's economy and stability.

  • He sent a delegation to France to appease them despite of their defensive pacts. A new treaty was signed preventing an unnecessary war.

  • Pressure on Adams to take a stand increased from both the Federalist/France and Democrat-Republican/England parties

As a result of this, John Adams lost his opportunity to run for a second term because he chose what was right rather than what would make him most popular.

John Adams - Declaration of Independence
John Adams meets King Georg III