John grew up in the English colony of Massachusetts Bay. His father was an influential farmer and craftsman. John was an intelligent boy and his father put an emphasis on education. He went to Harvard for college where his father expected him to study to become a minister. John had different ideas, however, and decided to study law. He graduated from Harvard in 1755 and began practicing law in Boston soon afterward.
As Adams practiced law in Boston, he began to have strong feelings about the British rule. He felt that the colonies were not being treated fairly and should become independent from Britain. He became a member of the Massachusetts legislature and then served as their delegate at the Second Continental Congress. While serving on the Congress he was a strong advocate of independence for America. He even worked on the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson.
During his presidency, Adams’ main accomplishment was keeping the United States out of war with France. France and Great Britain were at war and both wanted help from the US. The American public was divided. Some wanted to support France because France helped the US during the American Revolution. Others wanted to help Great Britain. Although it hurt his popularity at the time, Adams opted for peace and kept the country out of the war.
Adams lived to the ripe old age of 90 when he fell ill and died on July 4, 1826. Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson. This day was also the 50th anniversary of the the Declaration of Independence!
John Adams was an amazing president and was very smart about America’s decisions. He is a big part in American history.