Samuel Adams: A Founding Father

By: Chandana T. Heidy D. & Alani G.

Introduction:

Sam Adams also known as Samuel Adams was one of the founding father's and a political leader during the colonial times. Sam Adams is most known for signing the Declaration of Independence as a delegate of the Continental Congress, and for organizing the Boston Tea Party. He made a great impact in the formation of the United States. Through his articles and speeches, he led many colonists to their freedom from the British efforts to tax the colonies.


BIOGRAPHY:

Family History:

Samuel Adams was born on September 27th, 1722 in Boston, Massachusetts as one of 12 children. He received an education from Harvard University on Masters of Arts. He was the son of a merchant and brewer, who were Samuel Adams Sr. and Mary Fifield. He was born to a wealthy and religious family that was involved in politics and were very well-respected. They were also among the first settlers in New England. His father was a natural leader and was very involved in politics, who became a justice of peace and a Boston representative to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. His fathers involvement exposed him to politics.



Political Affiliation/Loyalties & Contribution in Colonial Development/Independence:

Sam’s opposition to the British started when the British law was against his father’s and others Land Bank in MA. When his parents died, the British gov. tried to seize their estate, and his opposition grew stronger. In about 1748, after he graduated from Harvard, Sam began to take part in the affairs of the town. Sam and his friends started a newspaper where Sam wrote anonymously, and his articles were influenced by John Locke’s philosophy. He began to question the rule of the British over the colonies, and wanted the colonies to have more power.


The British taxed the colonies heavily to repay its debts, and on May 24th, 1764 during a Boston Town Meeting, he wrote instructions that became the first political body to say that the British Parliament cannot tax the colonies. In 1764, he was really successful in helping to repeal the Sugar Act and Stamp Act in 1765, and when he was elected to the House of Representatives as a clerk, he met John Hancock. In 1767, the Townshend Acts were passed, and Adams petitioned against the King for the removal of the governor. It is said that during this time, Samuel Adams was one of the first colonists to deny the power of the British gov. and who wanted a separation. He inspired the other colonists about the idea of 'independence' before the American Revolution. Adams was also the organizer of the Sons of Liberty. He then began to write powerful articles for the ‘Boston Gazette’. In 1768, when he heard that British troops were coming to Boston, he started the preparations of the American Revolution. During the Boston Massacre, Adams and the other down leaders demanded the removal of British soldiers from town. In 1773, the British issued taxes to help the British East India Company and Adams began his petition against the Tea Act, and he wrote an article where he asks the other colonists to oppose the taxes on tea. After the Boston Tea Party, the British closed down Boston's port to repay for the lost tea, and many strict rules were put into place. One of his important services was when he organized the forces (colonists) of revolution before 1775.


In 1779, he was a part of a convention came up with the constitution of MA. In 1788, he was a member of the MA convention to ratify the US Constitution. From 1789-1794, he was the lieutenant-governor of MA, and from 1794-1797, he served as governor of MA. During the late 1790’s when political parties were created, Sam Adams became a Democratic-Republican. Samuel Adams died on October 2nd,1803.



INTEGRITY:

Definition: Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.


American Perspective:

He acted with integrity according to this group of people. Back in 1773 to the Americans Sam Adams would be considered a man with lots of integrity. He created the committees of correspondence which was where all the patriots would meet and discuss events and talk about plans to free themselves from Great Britain. He also used to speak to crowds and give speeches about freedom and liberty because of

this people considered him very trustworthy and a man with lots of integrity since all he wanted to do was give them freedom.


British Perspective:

On the other hand to Great Britain, Sam Adams was not considered a man with integrity at all. He was more of a traitor to them since he would speak bad of them to the people of the colonies. In Great Britain he was also considered an instigator because he was the one to start the committees of correspondence so he was just starting lots of trouble between the colonies and Great Britain.

CITIZENSHIP:

Definition: Relationship between an individual and a state in which the individual owes allegiance to the state and in turn is entitled to its protection. Citizenship entails obligations, usually including allegiance, payment of taxes, and military service.


American Point of View:

In the eyes of the colonists, Sam Adams displayed great citizenship. According to the definition of citizenship, Adams hit the mark. He helped get rid of the unwanted taxation that the British government was imposing on the colonists through the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act. His military aspect of his career is displayed through his role of Lieutenant Governor of MA in 1789-­1794. His allegiance to the colonies was clearly shown through his career as the governor of MA in 1794-1797 and through his efforts to ratify the US Constitution.


British Point of View:

On the other hand, He showed terrible citizenship in the eyes of the British government. Adams had a growing opposition to the British government for most of his life, even more so when the government tried to take his inherited estate. He planted seeds of doubt in his fellow colonists' heads about the British government through his self-made newspaper. He even went as far as to encourage opposition to
the British government and be a leader in some of the key events that led to the separation of the colonies from the British government. In their eyes, he was a prime example of poor citizenship in that day.

VIDEO:

This video describes the events of the Boston Tea Party. This relates to Samuel Adams because it was his idea to boycott the goods and dump the tea into the harbor.