178File - John Adams
- Aug 31, 2014John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 (New Style) in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts.
His father was a minister, also named John.
The younger John's father, who was often called Deacon John, wanted the future president to be a minister.
Young John decided against it, and wanted to be a farmer and lawyer.
His father accepted, but not without dissapointment.
Adams was a graduate of Harvard University.
In 1764, John Married Abigail Smith, a distant cousin.
They'd have four children.
One of them was John Quincy Adams, our sixth President.
John Adams defended the British soldiers of the Boston Massacre in court in 1770.
He won the case.
From 1774 to 1775, Adams served in the First Continental Congress.
Then, from 1775 to 1776, Adams served in the Second Continental Congress.
There, he pushed for independence, and on July 2, 1776, voted for it.
He signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.
Adams was the main author of the Constitution of Massachusetts.
He was sent to France to negotiate the peace treaty between the U.S. and Britain in 1779.
Adams arrived in Paris the next year.
In 1780, Adams was sent to The Netherlands to receive a $2 million loan and a treaty of commerce and alliance.
He returned in 1782 to Paris to participate in the final negotiations between the US and Britain.
He signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783, officially ending the Revolutionary War.
Adams was made first Minister to Britain in 1785.
British-American relations were still strained, and, being uncomfortable, Adams resigned in 1788.
In 1789, John Adams was elected the nation's first Vice President under George Washington, and served eight years in that position.
He thought it was "The most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."
Adams was elected our second President in 1796, and took office the year after.
France thought that the US was pro-British, and French-American relations were strained.
Adams sent three agents to France to look for peace.
However, France would not negotiate anything unless they were given a large bribe.
Adams did not like this, and this became known as the XYZ affair, the letters standing for the three agents.
In 1798, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed.
They prohibited speaking out against the Federalists, but it remained legal to speak out against homas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans.
The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions declared these laws unconstitutional.
These resolutions hurt Adams's popularity badly, and he was defeated by his Vice President, Thomas Jefferson, in 1800.
Shortly before his defeat, Adams had moved into the unfinished White House, then called the Executive Mansion.
Adams lived to see his son, John Quincy Adams, become the sixth President of the United States in 1825.
John Adams died on July 4, 1826 at the ripe old age of 90.
Thomas Jefferson had died just a few hours earlier.
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