John Adams Accomplishments


Michael Benton, Contributor

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john adams accomplishmentsThe accomplishments of John Adams are many and all are worth noting in the context of American Independence and the early years of the nation. John Adams' greatest accomplishments include becoming the first Vice President and the second President of the United States as well as establishing many of the basic ideas and principles that made up the U.S. Constitution. John Adams' major accomplishments make him a leader among the Founding Fathers and a central figure in early U.S. History. The achievements of John Adams are remarkable considering that he was not a military leader but a respected lawyer who was one of the first proponents of permanent separation from Great Britain. His first widely published essays were attacks on the Stamp Act of 1765 and the legality of Britain to impose colonial taxation without representation. One of John Adams' accomplishments that was controversial at the time was his successful defense of the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre of 1770; he considered it of paramount importance that they receive a fair trial regardless of his own political views.

John Adams' presidential accomplishments include his handling of the Quasi-War with France in 1798. This was a naval conflict over trading routes that could have easily spilled over into open warfare if not for Adams' reasoned approach. He secured peace with the French and protection for American merchants while at the same time winning credit for a young nation's ability to stand up to a major European power. Another of John Adams' accomplishments during presidency was the quick suppression of Fries's Rebellion among the Pennsylvania Dutch; although the men had openly revolted against the federal government, Adams showed great integrity in giving them all full presidential pardons. John Adams' accomplishments in office must also include his continued strengthening of the federal government in the face of challenges from Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party which sought to undermine the centralized structure of government. We might have seen a very different governmental structure if it were not for John Adams' presidency accomplishments.

John Adams' achievements must also include raising a son who would follow his footsteps to the White House. John Quincy Adams became the sixth President of the United States and the only son of a former President to enter office until George W. Bush 175 years later. John Adams had brought John Quincy along on his diplomatic journeys to Europe and it was here that John Quincy started his political career as the secretary for the American Minister to Russia at the age of only 14. The major accomplishments of John Adams were often mirrored in his son's political career; for example, whereas the elder Adams made peace with the British in the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the younger Adams made peace with the British in the Treaty of Ghent in 1814. While the elder Adams disentangled the United States from European affairs after the Quasi-War with France, the younger Adams helped write the Monroe Doctrine which banned any further colonization in the Americas by the European powers. It seemed quite the family tradition to form American policy for future generations.