Tuesday, 26 January 2016

John Adams, 2nd President of the United States of America

30th October 1735 saw the birth (in Braintree, Massachusetts) of John Adams, who would become the first Vice-President and second President of the United States of America.

Adams played a significant part in the founding of the new country, not least by nominating George Washington for the post of Commander-in-Chief and Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence.

He had a long career in government, during which his overall policy was to do whatever he thought best for the country, whatever anyone else might think. For this reason he rejected all political parties and refused to support any particular faction.

He managed to annoy just about everyone who mattered at one time or another. As American ambassador to France he insisted on speaking his mind, despite the consequences, which prompted Benjamin Franklin to think that he must be mentally unbalanced.

He was a convinced Federalist, which set him against Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who were staunch advocates of “states’ rights”. On the other hand, Alexander Hamilton did not think that John Adams went far enough in his federalism!

Fortunately, Adams was able to reconcile himself with Jefferson after both had had their turn as President, and they coincidentally died on the same day, 4th July 1826.

© John Welford

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