10 Interesting Facts About John Adams
Learned and thoughtful, Facts About John Adams was more remarkable as a political philosopher than as a politician. John Adams was an American Founding Father, an American lawyer, statesman, diplomat and political theorist. A leading champion of independence in 1776, he was the second President of the United States (1797–1801). Hailing from New England, Adams, a prominent lawyer and public figure in Boston, was highly educated and represented Enlightenment values promoting republicanism. A Federalist, he was highly influential and one of the key Founding Fathers of the United States. Here are the list of 10 interesting Facts About John Adams.
1. Defended British Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trial. In 1770, facts about John Adams defended British soldiers accused of killing five colonists on Boston Green in what became known as the Boston Massacre. Even though he disagreed with British policies, he wanted to ensure the British soldiers got a fair trial.
2. John Adams Nominated George Washington. John Adams realized the importance of unifying the North and South in the Revolutionary War. Facts about John Adams selected George Washington as a leader both would support.
3. Part of Committee to Draft the Declaration of Independence. John Adams was an important figure in both the First and Second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775. Facts about John Adams had been a staunch opponent of British policies before the American Revolution arguing against the Stamp Act and other actions. During the Second Continental Congress, he was chosen to be part of the committee to draft the Declaration of Independence, although he deferred to Thomas Jefferson to write the first draft.
4. Wife Abigail Adams. John Adams wife, Abigail Adams, was an important figure throughout the foundation of the American republic. She was a devoted correspondent with her husband and also in later years with Thomas Jefferson. She was very learned as can be judged by her letters. Her impact of this first lady on her husband and the politics of the time should not be underestimated.
5. Diplomat to France. Facts about John Adams that he was sent to France in 1778 and later in 1782. During the second trip he helped create the Treaty of Paris with Benjamin Franklin and John Jay which ended the American Revolution.
6. Facts about John Adams, elected President in 1796 with Opponent Thomas Jefferson as Vice President. According to the Constitution, candidates for President and Vice President did not run by party but instead individually. Whoever received the most votes became president and whoever got the second most was elected vice president. Even though Thomas Pinckney was meant to be John Adams’ Vice President, in the election of 1796 Thomas Jefferson came in second by only three votes to Adams.
7. XYZ Affair. While Adams was president, the French were regularly harassing American ships at sea. Adams attempted to stop this by sending ministers to France. However, they were turned aside. The French then sent a note asking for a bribe of $250000 in order to meet with them. Adams was afraid war would arise so he asked Congress for an increase in the military. Facts about John Adams that his opponents would not agree so Adams released the French letter asking for the bribe, replacing the French signatures with the letters XYZ. This caused the Democratic-Republicans to change their minds.
8. Alien and Sedition Acts. When war with France seemed a possibility, acts were passed to limit immigration and free speech. These were called the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts were eventually used against opponents of the Federalists leading to arrests and censorship. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Kentucky and Virigina Resolutions in protest.
9. Midnight Appointments. The Federalist Congress while Adams was president passed the Judiciary Act of 1801 which increased the number of federal judges that Adams could fill. Adams spent his last days filling the new jobs with Federalists. These facts about John Adams were collectively called the “midnight appointments.” These would be a point of contention for Thomas Jefferson who would remove many of them once he became president.
10. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Ended Life as Devoted Correspondents. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had been fierce political opponents during the early years of the republic. Jefferson believed staunchly in protecting state’s rights while John Adams was a devoted federalist. Facts about John Adams, the pair reconciled in 1812.