Second President of the United States John Adams: Biography

John Adams is best known as the second president of the United States (1797-1801). His youth fell on the British rule. After the revolution, he became a well-known public figure and official. With the resignation of the president, Adams ceased to engage in politics and for many years lived quietly in retirement.

Childhood and youth

The future second president of the United States was born in 1735 in Quincy. By American standards, he had deep immigrant roots. Adams' great-grandfather went west, receiving 40 acres of land under the decree of King Charles I of Stewart himself.

John was born into a farm family. Already an old man, he left a huge memoir and epistolary heritage. In his memoirs, the second US president proudly spoke of his father, calling him "the most honest of honest people." According to the colonial tradition, the whole family saved money to send their eldest son to college. In 1755, Adams graduated from Harvard. His favorite science became languages, and especially Latin. He was read by such free-think writers of the Enlightenment as Milton and Voltaire, as well as classics - Plutarch and Virgil. Education did its job - Adam refused the career of a clergyman who could shine after college.

Teacher and lawyer

In his youth, John Adams worked as a school teacher. He did not want to stop on what he had achieved and started studying law. In 1758, Adams became a lawyer and this earned a big name. The future second US president lived in Boston - one of the largest American cities of that time. Life boiled here, which means that there was a lot of work for the diligent lawyer.

Career jerk for Adams was his defense of British soldiers convicted after the riots, received in the historiography of the name of the Boston Massacre. This trial was held in 1770. The lawyer ideally built the defense and saved from the imprisonment of several people.

Participation in political life

Adams' political career began in 1765, when he expressed his dissatisfaction with the British Stamp Act Act. This law imposed an additional duty on all transactions in the American colonies. In fact, the United Kingdom once again profited from its overseas subjects. The act was adopted in order to close the hole in the budget of the kingdom, formed during the Seven Years' War in Europe. The future second US president criticized this decision. The photo of the original Declaration of Independence in the museum also contains his signature.

Then, in 1776, Adams was already a notable politician, well versed in legal subtleties. This his professional talent was very useful to the future president at the Continental Congresses, where the English-speaking colonies decided to break with their metropolis.


During the War of Independence, Adams was not at the front, but did a lot in the legal and diplomatic fields. He became one of the co-authors of the constitution of the newly-formed state of Massachusetts. This land was the home of the politician, and, of course, he could not stay away from local affairs.

In the years 1777-1779. Adams was the first US Ambassador to France. The Bourbon monarchy has already recognized the independence of the colonies in order to weaken the position of Great Britain. The kingdom helped the Americans and the army. When the war ended with the defeat of the British, the peace treaty was signed not somewhere, but in Paris. There in 1783 John Adams was also present, who took an active part in drawing up the points of the agreement. On this his diplomatic career did not end. Lawyer for several years was an ambassador to the UK, after which in 1788 he finally returned to his homeland.

The Vice President

Adams chose the most successful time on the American domestic political scene. Just then, the country experienced legislative changes necessary to create a clear state system. As a result of these reforms in 1789, the US had the first president - George Washington.

Adams was his closest aide and supporter. Therefore, it is not surprising that all the time when Washington was in power he held the position of vice-president - the second position in the bureaucratic apparatus.

Head of State

John Adams (who was the second US president) was elected head of state in 1797, after the end of George Washington's term. It was a stormy era full of bright events. The young American state continued to achieve world recognition, developed internal infrastructure and became wealthier.

Prior to Adams, the capital was in Philadelphia, where, in particular, the Continental Congresses were held. However, at the end of the 18th century it was decided to build a new city that would become a convenient state center. The famous White House appeared just at the time when the post was occupied by the second US president. The biography of this policy was full of difficult decisions.

Under Adams, a diplomatic war broke out with France, manifested in skirmishes between the fleets of the two countries in the Atlantic Ocean. This historical episode was called the XYZ Case. The incident seriously affected the atmosphere in Washington.

The reason for the conflict with France was Adams's criticism of the tyrannical revolutionary order in Paris. At that time, the Jacobites overthrew the monarchy and even executed the king. In addition, the eternal adversary of France went to rapprochement with the United States. This happened, even in spite of the former tensions between the former metropolis and the colonies.

The Americans and the British signed the treaty of Jay, initiated by the second US president, John Adams. The two countries have established trade and since then have continuously interacted in every possible way. The conflict with France, however, cost the spoiled relations between Washington and Paris.

Last years

Adams was the principal rival of another pioneer of US policy, Thomas Jefferson. In 1801, he became the third president of the United States. Adams left politics and did not hold any more positions. Nevertheless, he continued to actively speak in public space already being a private person. Even in his youth, Adams started a habit of keeping a diary. To his old age he accumulated a huge and priceless material. His memories (later published) have become an important storehouse of knowledge about the early years of the United States and the mechanisms for making crucial decisions.

Adams died peacefully in 1826 in his native Massachusetts. He was 90 years old. Descendants remembered him as one of the founding fathers of the United States, who became the creators of American statehood.

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