John Adams the first American Vice president and subsequently the second president was born on October 30th, 1735 to John Adams senior a farmer and local officeholder and Susana Adams (Gross 5). The first born of three children, his father wanted him to be a minister but thereafter he decided to studied law which he did in Harvard graduating in 1755. Three years later he was acknowledged to practice law from there Adams developed a custom of describing events in written form and men impressions that were found randomly in his diary. He applied the talent exceptionally as a lawyer often recording cases he observed so that he could study and reflect upon them, such as the legality case of the Writs of Assistance in 1761 (Gross 14). Adams marriage in 1764 to Abigail Smith proved to be the important decision in his life as she was to grant him dedicated support and assistance in the full life that lay ahead.
Before being the president, Adam a lawyer then, successfully managed to defend the British soldiers involved in the 1770 Boston Massacre with six of the total eight being found innocent (Gross 22). In the four years that he served in the Massachusetts legislature he managed to nominate George Washington as the commander in chief, and also become a part of the team that drafted the Dependence Declaration. His appointment of ambassador to France in 1778 was unsuccessful as he found himself out of place hence returning to America in less than six months. His return to France in 1783 was more fruitful as together with John Jay and Benjamin Franklin they created the treaty of Paris signifying the end of the American Revolution (Gross 63).
As vice president in 1789, he was deeply involved in month long debates on the title of the president favouring titles such as “His Majesty the President” which he lost to the simple title of “President of the United States of America.” When he was president of senate he achieved in casting 29 tie-breaking votes that enabled preserving the president’s sole power of appointees’ removal and authority over the location of the national capital (Gross 85). Adam’s major success as president was to prevent war between France and America and to stabilize dealings between the two countries (Gross 93). This was by coming up with a covenant that American ships could be protected on the oceans in exchange of France being granted special trading privileges.
However, Adam’s four years in the presidency was a stormy one, marked by a bitter feud with his nemesis Thomas Jefferson. The passage of Alien and Seduction Act in 1798 marked to discredit the Federalist Party (Gross 92). Furthermore, in party conflicts broke out making Hamilton and Adam alienated and less powerful. Alienation resulted to Adam’s cabinet to practically look to Hamilton rather than the president as their leader (Gross, 93). Because of the mistrust in his own party, Adam was defeated in the 1800 election by Thomas Jefferson forcing him to retire into private life.
John Adam was a defender, author and communicator often arguing for unpopular opinions just to achieve a feat that could surprise his adversaries and eventually win the day (Gross 97). While the traits served him well as senator and as ambassador, they were the reason for his downfall as president. He managed to stay alive to see his son John Quincy Adams become the president, dying at the same time as Thomas Jefferson also a former president.
Gross, Miriam. John Adams: Patriot, Diplomat, and Statesman (1st Ed.). New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2005. Print. : 5+