John Adams was born in 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts. After finishing his studies from Harvard in 1775, John Adams decided to study law, and in a few years, he was admitted to the bar. It was not until the discussions with regard to the Stamp Act, in the year of 1765, that he raised to political prominence as a very young but promising politician. Although he didn’t have any political aspiration at first, he become one of the greatest figures in the history of the United States of America in the 18th century.
After moving to Boston in 1768, he became a member of the Congress, making him a very influential leader. One of the greatest archievements in his life was being a member of the commission with the very important task of writing the Declaration of Independence, one of the most crucial documents in the history of this young nation which was about to be born.
After a few years in France, and later on, in the United Kingdom, where he published some works, John Adams returned to the United States. He was declared Vice President, serving as such between 1789 and 1797. As one of the leaders of the Federalist Party (one of the major political factions in the US at the end of the 18th century), John Adams run for the Presidency once George Washington decided he didn’t want to accept another nomination. The Federalist Party campaigned for Adams, while the Democratic-Republican Party campaigned for Thomas Jefferson. Once he defeated Jefferson by a margin of only three votes, John Adams became President, and Thomas Jefferson was selected as his Vice President.
John Adams stood in office until 1801. While important legislation was approved under his presidency, he became deeply unpopular, making him not a very likely candidate for the next presidential election. Once the 1801 election came, Jefferson managed to defeat Adams by quite a large margin. The political climate and the division between the Federalist Party didn’t allow Adams to maintain his presidency four more years, forcing him to retire from active political life.
Although John Adams didn’t run for Congress once he left office, his son, John Quincy Adams became President in just a few years. John Adams died in 1826, leaving behind him a great legacy, and having been able to make a reality one of his most ardent dreams: a free and democratic America.
Image: Asher Brown Durand via Wikipedia