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John Adams - Research Paper Example

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U.S. History 28 April 2011 John Adams John Adams never managed to match the popularity of such leaders of American Revolution as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson. During his political career, he was regarded by the contemporaries as vain politician who, despite his patriotism, lacked political tact and charisma (Wood 177)…
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John Adams
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Download file to see previous pages His family was rather modest, and his simple habits were typical for Massachusettsian farmers of that time (McCullough 18). Adams was a devout believer, but he still valued Greco-Roman literature and political theory: he was an ample reader of works by Cicero, Tacitus, Plato, Thucydides, and other political writers and philosophers of Ancient world (McCullough 19). Adams did not belong to learned or commercial elite of the Colonial society and was proud of his personal qualities such as eloquence. As a lawyer, he earned recognition of local community, yet his social ambition led him to view political career as his true destiny (McCullough 20). Adams first became an important figure during the campaign against the Stamp Act of 1765, as the decision of the British government to impose a direct tax on printed materials enraged the Americans. Adams played a prominent role in this campaign by drafting the so-called Braintree Instructions, a document presented by Massachusettsian citizens to the General Court of the colony. The Braintree Instructions presented such basic principles of future American political system as the connection between taxation and representation, and the necessity of trial by jury and independent judiciary (McCullough 61). The campaign against the Stamp Act would thus become the first contribution of Adams to the fight for independence of the future United States. The second important contribution of Adams to the cause of independence was his participation in the first and second Continental Congresses of 1774 and 1775. As the most prominent of representatives of Massachusetts, Adams possessed great influence among his fellow members of Congress, and his struggle for transformation of the colonies into independent states played an important role in convincing Congress of the necessity of independence. Adams played a key part in drafting the Congressional resolutions of 15 May 1776, which became a basis for the future draft of the Declaration of Independence (Wood 176). The most important work of Adams, Thoughts on Government (1776), had a decisive influence on the political thought of American Patriots (Wood 177). By arguing in favor of rule of law, Adams laid the foundations for American system of government. In Thoughts on Government Adams displayed a concern about the necessity of political balance between various branches of government in order to avoid possible abuses of power. The effect of Adams’ Thoughts on Government was extensive, as the principles he proclaimed received a wide audience (McCullough 103; Wood 178). This allowed Adams to become a respected figure in constitutional affairs. Despite the dominant role of Jefferson and Madison in drafting the Declaration of Independence, Adams played important role in proclamation of independence itself. He supported the Lee Resolution on 7 June 1776 that was to proclaim the United States “free and independent states”, and participated in the debate in Congress that followed it (McCullough 118). The fruitful participation of Adams in the affairs of Congress, and his positive standing at the negotiations with General Howe in September 1776 allowed him to become a first representative of the USA in the European countries. Adams’ diplomatic career proved extremely fruitful for the United States. Even though his missions to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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