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John Adams was the fifth generation of Adams in America. His father was also John and his mother was Susan Boylston, daughter of Peter Boylston from the town of Brookline. John was born into a comfortable but not wealthy family in the town Braintree, Massachusetts, on October 19, 1735. He was the eldest son; his younger brothers were Peter, born in 1738, and Elihu in 1742. The old John Adams was a deacon of Braintree’s First Congregational Church and a selectman for the town of Braintree. sought to live by Puritan tenets and attended church regularly. As the oldest son…

In May 1765 colonial residents learned that England had passed a new law called the This Act marks the beginning of the and American independence. It was also the beginning of a new chapter in John Adams’ life and his involvement in political activism. . Opposition to the Stamp Act created the Stamp Act crisis. This is an invitation by the Sons of Liberty to a meeting under the Liberty Tree to demand the resignation of  Andrew Oliver, the stamp distributor. . John Adams’  involvement in political activism started in August 1765 when he published an essay in the Boston…

At the end of March 1770, just three weeks after the , a grand jury had indicted Captain Preston and his men as well as four civilians accused of having fired from the window of the Customs House. The soldiers of the twenty-ninth regiment accused of murder were William Wemms, James Hartigan, William McCauley, Hugh White, Matthew Kilroy, William Warren, John Carrol and Hugh Montgomery. If found guilty they could face the death penalty. Preston and his soldiers could not find a legal representative counsel, they approached several lawyers without success until 35-year old John Adams agreed to head their…

At the time it was tradition for the older son to get a college education, in the case of Deacon Adams it was his older brother who got to go to college. Following this convention, Deacon Adams expected great accomplishments of his older son and his future, as determined by his father, was to become a minister of the church and as such he would be a spiritual leader of his community. Deacon Adams wanted John to attend Harvard College. However John had other plans, he wanted to be a farmer just like his father. John Adams did not have…

John Adams served in Congress for four years, from 1774 to the end of 1777. During this time Adams served in a total of ninety committees, of which he chaired twenty. At the end of 1777 John Adams was simultaneously involved in twenty six committees, he was chairman of eight. No other congressman was as involved as Adams, as a result he spent much of his time away from home separated from his wife and children. Adams felt validated and his confidence in his skills and oratory abilities steadily grew during the duration of congress. He was asked to write…

Thoughts on Government As revolution entered its second stage John Adams counseled Congress that the next step towards independence was to build America’s own institutions. John made his view public in a pamphlet published anonymously in April 1776, titled Thoughts on Government.  This pamphlet had an enormous impact on the way government was structured and influenced the drafting of constitutions in many colonies including Massachusetts. According to Adams the purpose of government is to promote happiness and to secure it for the largest number of citizens. A republican government was better suited for this purpose. The structure of government he…

On September 3rd, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed by the three American negotiators, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and John Jay, and David Hartley, representing King George III. The treaty was signed at the historical Hotel d’York in Paris. The Treaty of Paris was ratified by the American Congress of the Confederation on January 14, 1784 and by British Parliament on April 9, 1784. The Treaty of Paris formally ended the American War of Independence and recognized Great Britain’s former thirteen colonies as free and independent states, acknowledging the existence of the United States as a sovereign country. The…