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John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson - Research Paper Example

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Name John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson It is a universally known fact that America started generating negative vibes of campaigning through two close friends who drew together in the eighteenth century. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson are two such figures who combined their forces to seek independence of United States…
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John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson
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Download file to see previous pages Whether it was a clash of ideologies or clash of personalities, it was an ugly situation which came down to accusation campaigns against each other. Jefferson’s people were heard accusing President Adams as having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman” to which Adam’s crowd responded by calling the Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father” (Swint 2008). Hence the two characters were introduced to the general public and eventually discussed widely in the academia. While Adam was labeled with rude terms like fool and criminal as well as tyrant and hypocrite, Jefferson was regarded as an atheist, coward, a weakling and libertine. Since there was no campaigning for the presidential candidates in the past, these political figures spent the election period at their homes, Adams in Massachusetts and Jefferson in Virginia. The core difference between the two politicians was in the use of tactics to get to win the elections. Jefferson used James Callendar as hatchet man to convince America that Adams was keen on attacking France which was not the truth but it did win him the election because people bought his story. Adams considered himself above such tactics. Callendar has to serve in jail because of Jefferson and felt he owed him all the respect even after he was released from jail in 1801. When he did not receive any conciliation from Jefferson, he wrote a story revealing that Jefferson had an affair with one of his slaves Sally Hemings who had five children from him and lived in France. Things continued to become dirty between Jefferson and Adams. It is still mind boggling when one recalls the friendship between the two which was so close that Jefferson himself proclaimed Adams as a visionary man who was accurate in his judgments. He referred to Adams as a warmhearted soul who did have his weaknesses but they did not overweigh his goodness (Swint 2008). Adams and Jefferson had contrasting lives. While Adams was the eldest son of a middling farmer in Braintree who worked as a shoemaker in winters for survival of his family, Jefferson was the eldest son of a wealthy planter in Virginia who owned thousands of acres of land and more than hundreds of slaves. Adams was raised in a strict Calvinist atmosphere where he was taught to subordinate an individual for a positive outcome in the community, respecting the authority figures. Raised in Anglican Church, Jefferson was rather impressed with his father’s rise to power by merely surveying and speculation of the plants. He never said a word about his beliefs in his formative years. His father Peter Jefferson was a learned man who worked hard to come to his stature. Adams and Jefferson both received schooling in their early life but Adams stayed home while attending a preparatory school and Jefferson was sent for early schooling away from home. Adams went to Harvard later in life while Jefferson to William and Mary (Ferling 18). Jefferson wanted to be recognized as a unique figure even among the planter elite. He dismissed the aristocratic ways and acknowledged his worth for seeing things in a progressive light. Adams had no choice but to choose his career but Jefferson always had an option because of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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