John Adams 2nd U.S. President
ABOUT JOHN ADAMS Adams was born in 1735. John’s home state was Massachusetts. John Adam’s wife was Abigail Adams. Died in 1826 at the age of 91.
POLITICAL PARTIES Political parties are groups that are organized to help elect government officials and to influence the government policies. The two major parties in John Adam’s presidential election were....... The Federalists The Democratic-Republicans (Republicans for short) AND……..
Republicans wanted to limit the power of the federal government. The Republicans chose Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Federalists wanted to strengthen the federal government and promote industry and trade. Alexander Hamilton was the most important member of the Federalist party, but the party elected former vice president John Adams and Thomas Pinckney.
ELECTION AND PRESIDENCY Elected in 1796, John Adams participated in the first presidential election including more than one candidate. Jefferson narrowly fell to Adams in the race and came just short gaining 68 electoral votes to Adam’s 71. Adam’s running mate Thomas Jefferson hated him and tried to sabotage his campaign. At the time, the Constitution stated that the runner up would become the vice president, so Jefferson and Adams were put into office together.
On the exterior, John Adams didn’t seem very presidential. Adams lacked Washington's dignity and Jefferson’s charm. Uncomfortable around strangers, Adams was seen as very distant and cold. People admired his intelligence, trustworthiness, and tremendous work ethic. He started most of his days at 4a.m. and didn’t go to bed until well after 10 p.m.
SEDITION ACT This background depicts a fight in congress over the Sedition and Alien Acts. The Sedition Act stated that U.S. citizens could not participate in any plots “to oppose any measure or measures of the government of the United Sates. The Sedition and Alien Acts were the harshest attacks Adams faced. These Acts were passed in the summer of 1798. A Republican newspaper editor Matthew Lyon was arrested for publishing these types of things. This Act also made it illegal to “write, print, utter or publish” any false or hostile words against the government or its polices. In response, Republicans Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions stating that these Acts were unconstitutional.
ALIEN ACT Alien acts allowed the president to expel foreign citizens from the U.S. if he concluded that they were involved “in any treasonable or secret plots against the government.” These acts frightened Republicans and encouraged many French citizens living in the U.S. to leave.
XYZ AFFAIR This cartoon of the XYZ Affair shows France as a monster attempting to bribe honest American diplomats. Adams was infuriated by this. Adams’s first goal as president was to strengthen the relationship between U.S. and France. When Adams finally released the terms to congress, he substituted the letters X, Y, Z for the French agents. The XYZ Affair happened when Adams sent a diplomatic team to Paris, (Thomas Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry) where they were met by French agents who told them the French foreign minister Charles Talleyrand wouldn’t speak with them unless they paid a bribe of $250,000 and a $12 million dollar loan to the French government. Upon hearing this, Federalists in congress called for war with France… In preparation, Adams ordered congress to rally a small fleet and an army of several thousand troops for war.
XYZ AFFAIR War was never declared. Adams tried to reopen peace talks with France. Many of his fellow Federalists were shocked by this and insulted him in speeches and essays. In 1800, the United States and France signed a peace treaty.
JOHN ADAMS By: Ethan Wagner