John Adams and the American Revolution

Essay by tld007High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2004

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John Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1735. After graduating from Harvard as a lawyer, he quickly became known as a member of the Patriot cause. He was selected by the Continental Congress in 1776 along with Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston and Robert Sherman to "draw up a declaration". Though more of a political philosopher than a politician, he became the first vice president under the first president George Washington, and even took the presidential seat himself for a term between 1797 and 1801. He had many titles, such as "New England's Revolutionary Leader", "The Atlas of American Independence", and even plain old "Radical". Without Adams, this country would not be what it is today.

As the five chosen members of the declaration writing committee (Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Livingston and Sherman), they first had to decide on who would write it. At first, Thomas suggested that John should write it.

Adams declines, responding, "Reason first--you are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second - I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third - you can write ten times better than I can" (TimeLife 81). All in all, it took Jefferson and the rest of the committee less then seventeen days to complete the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. The declaration contained three parts. The first, also called the Preamble, explained the principles which Americans believe their liberties were based upon. This contain the famous quote, "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The second was Thomas Jefferson's own version of 'A Summary View of the Rights of British America.' This...