The Second President: John Adams

downloadAs the second post of the blog, it seems fitting to have it be about the second president of the United States. Why not the first? Well, Washington is one of the most well known presidents and although he was instrumental in starting the young country, the presidents to follow should not be forgotten. John Adams was not only the second president, he was also the first vice president, a founding father, and he aided in drafting the Declaration of Independence. In talking about presidents, it is very tempting to rank them based on personal beliefs and feelings, but this blog will attempt to show all sides of the arguments and leave judgement to the reader. Bias is impossible to completely ignore, so bare with me.

John Adams was a delegate from Massachusetts and was one of the founding fathers of the United States. During his career, he was a lawyer, a diplomat, a political theorist, and a statesman. He was a strong opponent of British taxes and imperial rule, but he did not blindly follow the revolutionaries. In fact, he defended the British soldiers after the Boston Massacre. This was seen as a huge betrayal by many contemporaries, but he famously argued, “”Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Adams was an honest man who fought for what he believed. Later on, he was sent to the continental congress and joined a committee of five men who drafted the Declaration of Independence.

While in the congress, Adams worked incredibly hard and was said to work 18 hours per day. He was on 90 committees and chaired 25. Due to his effort, he was chosen to be a diplomat to France and then Holland. He did not speak French(the diplomatic language of he day), so he played more of a background role. When he returned, he ran for president and came in second to Washington. Before the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the runner up for president became the vice president. Adams served two terms as vice president and ran again for president once Washington retired. This time, Adams won the election. Adams was part of the Federalist party and ran against the Democratic-Republicans(a very weird idea for modern Americans). The Federalists advocated for a larger style of central government that controlled a federal bank and could place tariffs. Adams did not have any scandals or major catastrophes during his presidency, but he made a large impact on the United States.

So what? This is one of the most important questions to ask when looking at history. Adams seemed to be an honest guy who became president. So what? There are two main ways of looking at Adams. One view sees him as a man who tried to increase the powers of the government and presidency much larger than the constitution allowed. The other view sees him as trying to form a financially secure nation by using powers that were not banned in the constitution. Both views are still in conflict with modern presidents, but it is important to note that this debate has been around since the very beginning of the nation. John Adams did not have any famous war or scandal during his presidency, but he remains a noteworthy president due to his honesty, integrity, and willingness to fight for his beliefs. Not all people agree with those beliefs, but nevertheless he played an important role in forming the nation. John Adams helped draft the Declaration of Independence and became the second president of the United States. He played a crucial role in United States history, and this is his snapshot from history.

Sources:

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/john-adams

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/signers/adams_j.html

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