one of the most prominent and influential Founding Fathers in American history,
played a critical role in the development of the newly found United States.
Adams, who served as both Vice President and President of the United States,
was considered a revolutionary political philosopher and innovative
first came to prominence during the early years of the American Revolution as a
delegate from Massachusetts. During meetings of the Continental Congress, Adams
persuaded other Founding Fathers into drafting the Declaration of Independence,
which would solidify America’s standing as a free sovereign nation.
John Adams’ role in the drafting of the
Declaration of Independence was spawned through repeated attempts by
Parliament’s unjust taxation methods on American colonialists. In 1765, the
British Parliament enforced the Stamp Act without consulting American
legislatures. The Act effectively required all colonial publications to be
produced on specific paper produced in London and also enforced a hefty tax on
mandatory British stamps. The Parliament instituted such an Act to raise money
for their army which they viewed as a necessary resource for the American
to this unjust taxation, Adams, as well as other prominent leaders, vehemently
protested by publishing articles outlining the tyrannous actions of Parliament.
The main argument offered by Adams revolved around British attempts to deny
American colonists the two basic rights previously guaranteed to all settlers.
The “Braintree Instructions”, the publication written by John Adams,
outlined that the rights to be taxed only by consent and to be tried only by a
jury of one’s peers were directly violated through the Stamp Act of 1765.
The unrighteous actions and violation of civil
rights by the Parliament propelled John Adams into a prominent leadership role
within the United States Continental Congress. As disfavor grew, Adams swore to
focus his energies on separation from the British government. In 1775, Adams
appointed George Washington as the commander-in-chief of the United States
army. Over the subsequent decade, as battles waged on, John Adams urged the
colonies to begin deliberating to solidify local governments through the
adoption of constitutions. Strongly influenced by Adams, this movement sparked
the creation of independent governing State bodies.
quickly became regarded as the prominent source for the development of local
governments and solidified this notion with the publishing of his pamphlet “ There were many influential
documents published during this era, which enlightened individuals and leaders
to separate governing bodies and the power of free thought. “Thoughts on Government” focused on
the art of politics and the powerful guidance it contains in regards to social
function and human happiness. Adams’ philosophy was simple: the government
should be given power and established to meet the needs and desires of the
In “Thoughts of Government” Adams wrote that the British
Parliament was an empire constructed of laws and not men. This philosophy ran
deep in American society and politics, eventually influencing the creation of
the United States Bill of Rights.
On June 7th, 1776 John Adams agreed to the
resolution of independence and later played an imperative role in the drafting
of the historical document. Although the Declaration of Independence was
primarily written by Thomas Jefferson, Adams is regarded as playing the most
substantial role in the debate for its adoption.
A few years following
the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams constructed
Massachusetts’ new Constitution which offered an assortment of policies and
societal innovations used to this day. The Constitution written by Adams was
the first to be ratified by the people of the State and the first to feature a
bicameral legislature, a distinct judicial branch, and a clear executive with
two/thirds veto powers.
views on social classes and interaction are still relevant and innovative for
present day society. Adams believed that all forms of society would be
separated based on money or class. This notion was inevitable to Adams. However,
he believed that prominent or wealthy individuals should not take part in
politics because of their inherent power and inability to relate to the common
man. Adams never owned a slave nor believed in the idea of slavery. This stance
is a reflection of the man’s character and stresses his stance on civic virtues.