The second president of United States

Essay by pephamCollege, Undergraduate February 2004

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The second president of United States

John Adams (1735-1826) was the first vice-president and also the second president of the United States. He was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on October 19, 1735. His father was a farmer. John Adams entered Harvard University at the age of fifteen and graduated in 1755, and went on to become a lawyer in Boston (John P Diggins, 17).

John Adams was a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses from 1774 to 1775, and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. He was a leader of the American Revolution and to the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional government. Adams belonged to the Federalist Party. During the Revolutionary War from 1777 to 1780, he served as a diplomat in France and Holland, and helped negotiate the treaty of peace with England (John P Diggins, 30-34). After the Revolution, in 1783, Adams went to France to sign the Treaty of Paris, and became the first US ambassador to England from 1785 to 1788 (John Ferling, 236).

He was elected President in 1797, beating Thomas Jefferson by three electoral votes. He published the " Thoughts on Government", laying out his plan for a republican government with a bicameral assembly and independent executive and judiciary branches (John Ferling, 300). Adams' term as President (from 1797 to 1801) was often controversial and unpopular; he limited free speech rights, curtailed the freedom of the press, and made it difficult to become a citizen of the US. The Federalist congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798. Although John Adams did not propose these measures, he signed them. (John P Diggins, 110) His most notable accomplishment, as President, was to avoid a war with France, while maintaining American honor. During Adams's administration, the United...