John Adams Essays

John Adams Essays

Length: 1461 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

John Adams, who became the second president of the
United States, has been accused by some historians of being
the closest thing America ever had to a dictator or monarch
(Onuf, 1993). Such strong accusations should be examined
in the context of the era in which Mr. Adams lived and
served. A closer examination of the historical events
occurring during his vice presidency and his term as
president, strongly suggests that Adams was not, in fact, a
dictator. Indeed, except for his lack of charisma and political
charm, Adams had a very successful political career before
joining the new national government. He was, moreover,
highly sought after as a public servant during the early
formation of the new federal power (Ferling, 1992). Adams
was a well educated, seasoned patriot, and experienced
diplomat. He was the runner-up in the election in which
George Washington was selected the first United States
President. According to the electoral-college system of that
time, the second candidate with the most electoral votes
became the Vice President (Smelser & Gundersen, 1975).
As president, Washington appointed, among others, two
influential political leaders to his original cabinet; Thomas
Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson, a veteran
politician became the Secretary of State and Hamiliton, a
young, outspoken New Yorker lawyer, became the
Secretary of the Treasury (Ferling, 1992). Jefferson, like
Adams, had also signed the Declaration of Independence.
Hamilton, however, was the only cabinet member relatively
unknown to Adams (Ferling, 1992). It was Hamilton,
nonetheless, who excelled during this new administration by
initiating numerous, innovative, and often controversial
programs, many of which were quite successful. Adams and
Hamilton were both Federalists. Unlike Hamiliton, Adams
was more moderate (Smelser & Gundersen, 1975). During
this first administration, Adams and Hamilton quarreled
(Washington Retires, 1995), and Adams contemptuously
began referring to Hamilton as “his puppyhood” (DeCarolis,
1995). This created a rift in the administration, for
Washington generally favored Hamiliton (Smelser &
Gundersen, 1975), and disregarded Adams (Ferling, 1992).
Hamilton also went to great lengths to drive Jefferson out of
the cabinet (Allison, 1966). Jefferson did finally, indeed,
resign from the cabinet. The Federalists “party,” of which
Hamiliton w...

... middle of paper ...

...larity in the
latter part of his term. It should also be pointed out that
though the Sedition Act was anti-democratic in practice,
Thomas Jefferson, who defeated Adams, used it against the
Federalists in 1803 (People v. Croswell) and indicted a
publisher (DeCarolis, 1995). Jefferson was not accused of
being a dictator for such non-democratic actions. Adams
was neither dictatorial in his conduct, or imperial in his
policies. He appeared to have had the interest of the
common people at heart. The conflict with France, the high
taxes needed to keep the army and navy operating, and the
poor legislative faux pas Congress made during period time,
all cast a negative reflection on President Adams. This
provided his opponents, like Hamilton, Burr, and even
Jefferson, with political leverage to use against him, just as
politicians and political parties do in our own modern era. If
Adams were a dictator, then one must ask would the citizens
elect his son to be the future president, twenty-four years
later? Or, how his grandson, Charles Francis Adams,
became America’s minister to London. Apparently the
citizenry remembered President Adams in a positive,
democratic way, and not as a dictator.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Thomas Jefferson And John Adams

- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams are two of the United States most iconic historical figures when discussing the long and eventful history of American politics. While many Americans can easily point to George Washington as our founding father, his ideas of government and how the new American political system should function were critical in guiding the colonies towards independence and establishing their own government. However, many of his criticisms and oppositions to the methods in which powerful men used to control the masses became a part of the new system as well....   [tags: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams]

Strong Essays
1479 words (4.2 pages)

The United States First President John Adams Essay

- The United States Second President John Adams was born on October 30, 1735. When Adams was growing up he had a young and productive life, Adams would help farm on his family farm in Braintree, and would play with the towns children around him. Later Adams would move on to college where he learned that he was going to be a great public speaker. Adams would not be a minister as his father, Deacon John, wanted him to be. Adams would go on to become a well-known lawyer in Boston. There Adams would have one of the most important case of his career....   [tags: John Adams, John Quincy Adams]

Strong Essays
2483 words (7.1 pages)

Essay on The Revolutionary Period : John Adams

- In the Revolutionary period, John Adams was a leader who was one of the founding fathers and advocate for the independence of America. He was a member of the Continental Congress. During the Revolutionary war, Adams served in France and Holland as a diplomatic role. After George Washington was elected as the President, he was put under Washington as the first Vice President. After Washington’s presidency, Adams, who was apart of the Federalists, got elected as President on March 4th, 1797 with Thomas Jefferson, his friend and rival as Vice President....   [tags: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, United States]

Strong Essays
777 words (2.2 pages)

John Adams, By David Mccullough Essay

-    John Adams, by David McCullough, tells the life story of the second president of the United States of America, from his Puritan ancestors first setting foot in New England, to his eventual death in 1826.  David McCullough has been called “one of America’s greatest living writers”, by the Washington Post, and “the citizen chronicler”, by Librarian of Congress, James Billington.  He has written many other books on a variety of different historical subjects and figures including, but not limited to, the Wright brothers, the Johnstown flood, and Harry S....   [tags: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin]

Strong Essays
1164 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on John Adams And The United States Of America

- “ A wise and frugal government... shall restrain men from injuring one another... shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits..., and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned .This is the sum of good government (Jefferson,1801) .” This was said by Thomas Jefferson our third President of the United States of American. John Adams our second President of the United States of America, for 4 years as President change the “Free World” to a federalist powerhouse in this new, young country....   [tags: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, United States]

Strong Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

John Adams by David McCullough Essays

- John Adams, by David McCullough      The book, John Adams, by David McCullough, is a powerfully written biography of one of our nation’s greatest heroes. This biography explores Adams’ life in great depth, unveiling a side to his life unbeknownst to those who have never studied his life in great detail. Through diary entries, letters, and various other documents, the reader grasps a sense of what Adams’ day to day life was like, and is also able to grasp the enormity of his lifetime accomplishments....   [tags: Biography John Adams McCullough Essays]

Strong Essays
1712 words (4.9 pages)

How Was the Threat of War with France during John Adams’ Presidency Used by the Federalist party to Attack the Republicans?

- A. Plan of the Investigation This study investigates how was the threat of war with France during John Adams’ presidency used by the Federalist party to attack the Republicans. It will look at the “Quasi-War’s” effects on the political attitudes of the time as well as legislation passed by John Adams and Congress. Specifically, the XYZ affair will be discussed as an example of the tense relations between the countries and a catalyst for the Federalist support used to gain an upper hand over the Republicans, and the Alien and Sedition Acts will be examined as an example of Federalist legislation passed against the Republicans....   [tags: American History, France, John Adams]

Strong Essays
1500 words (4.3 pages)

John Adams Essay

- John Adams John Adams was born on October 30, 1725 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the family farm. He was the older of two younger brothers, Peter and Elihu. John was named after his father John Adams Sr. His father was said to be the town's tax collector, selectman, constable and lieutenant of the militia. John Adams Sr. was the younger Adams’ role model. John’s parents gave him a lot of freedom. It was said that he doing activities outdoors and cared little for school. It is said that John’s stubbornness started at the age of ten when his parents were afraid that he was wasting his exceptional intellect....   [tags: US History Biography John Adams]

Strong Essays
1303 words (3.7 pages)

John and Abigail Adams: Letters Of Love Essay

- Letters of Love Now letter-Writing is, to me, the most agreeable Amusement: and Writing to you the most entertaining and Agreeable of all Letter-Writing. – John Adams And – then Sir if you please you may take me. – Abigail Smith Love is a deep feeling of profound passion and intimacy. The story between John and Abigail Adams is a warm and deeply moving love between two of America's most moving people. Their names are inseparably linked as those of any pair in history. The story of these amazing lovers, patriots, comes to life through their intimate correspondence....   [tags: Abigail John Adams]

Free Essays
1270 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on John Adams

- John Adams was born on October 30th, 1735 to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston Adams. He was the oldest of three and lived in Braintree, Massachusetts. His father was a farmer, deacon, and town councilman. The Adams were not very wealthy and John Adams’ father knew he could only send one son and he wanted to send his eldest. However, John Adams told his father “I do not love books and I wish you would lay aside thoughts of sending me to college.” His father in reply asked him- “What would you do child....   [tags: farming, lawyer, deffense attorney, presidency]

Strong Essays
1156 words (3.3 pages)