Top 10 accomplishments of John Adams

John Adams, the second U.S President and the leader of the American Revolution, was born on 30th October 1735 in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was born to his father John Adams Sr. and his mother Susanna Boylston and was married to Abigail Adams.

John and Abigail had five children John Quincy Adams, Charles Adams, Thomas Boylston Adams, Susanna Adams, Abigail Adams Smith. However, the accomplishments of John Adams influenced even his children.

Since his childhood, he wished to function fairly and expected others to conduct in the same manner. Accordingly, he studied and got his undergraduate and master’s degree from Harvard College in 1751.  

He then began practicing law in 1758. Starting by serving at the first continental congress in 1774, he managed to gain popularity due to his accomplishments in and around the United States. 

The top 10 most significant accomplishments of John Adams are mentioned here in this article.

10. John Adams responsible for defending British Soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre

A portrait of the Boston Massacre
Source: Wikimedia Common

John Adams, as a lawyer, had a considerable role during the Boston Massacre Trial of 17th October 1770. Though it was not his first case, this one made him the most famous, courageous, and fair lawyer in the United States.

The Boston Massacre was about killing five civilians and injuring six civilians by the British Army. The British Army was sent to the colonies to maintain Peace, but this turned in a different direction and resulted in the birth of the Sons of Liberty. 

Sons of Liberty was a group of 13 colonies standing together to fight against British oppression, including unfair taxation.

John Adams was the lawyer representing the British Army as he always believed in the presumption of innocence. In contrast, his cousin Samuel Adams and Robert Treat Paine were against Adams and wanted the British Army to be hanged.

John Adams continued defending the British Army and successfully managed to reduce the sentence of two of the Army. The case went on with logical and ferocious protect front John Adams’s side, and the kept in front made sense as they were based on reason and laws. 

The result of decreased sentence to the British Army and John Adams taking on the side of the British Army led to the beginning of the American Revolution.

9. John Adams was the crossroads between Democratic-Republicans and Federalists

Another significant accomplishment of John Adams was to become the crossroads between the Democratic-Republicans and Federalists.

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John Adams’s presidency period was known for the conflicts between the two new political parties – Federalists & Democratic-Republicans. The Federalists lived on the eastern seaboard, which included wealthy merchants and highly educated people.

They wanted a loose interpretation of the Constitution, a stronger central government, and a good relationship between the U.S and Britain for trade purposes.

The Democratic-Republicans lived in the western regions and included farmers. They wanted a weaker central government, a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and a good relationship between the U.S and France.

John Adams as a fair leader and a lawyer, became the crossroads between the two parties. However, he was on the side of the stronger central Government, unlike Jefferson, who wanted a decentralized government.

8. John Adams had a significant role in the ignition of the American Revolution

Thoughts of John Adams to the government written in 1776
Thoughts of John Adams to the government written in 1776
Source: Wikimedia Common

In 1765, Great Britain levied the Stamp Act on the colonies of the United States. But, according to this act, the tax was levied on basic things, including legal documents, playing cards, newspapers, and pamphlets. And, it was missing two fundamental rights: rights to be taxed only by consent and to be tried by a jury of one’s peers.

John Adams was against this act as he wanted no taxation without representation. He wrote a letter to the Authority of Great Britain mentioning his opposition to the Stamp Act. 

The tax should not be levied on the citizen who does not directly benefit from the product or service. The opposition letter and speech led to boycotts of British Goods, an attack on the tax collectors, and a riot. 

Besides Stamp Act, Adams was also against another act levied in 1767, the Townshend Acts of 1767. Like the Stamp Act, this act levied taxes on basic things and majorly on the products imported from outside. The tax set goods included tea, paper, and glass.

Adams started writing articles related to these acts and also gave speeches to the public. So, his opposition to these acts led to riots and chaos, which later led to the Revolutionary War – the American Revolution.

7.One of the leading members of the Continental Congress

The birthplace of John Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts
The birthplace of John Adams, Quincy, Massachusetts
Source: Wikimedia Common

 John Adams played a vital role as one of the leading members of the Continental Congress. The Continental Congress had delegates from thirteen colonies, and its members included John Adams, Gouverneur Morris, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. 

Adams was the delegate of Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, who later became the leader of the revolutions.

People, mostly the members of the Congress, knew about him after he nominated George Washington as the commander of the Continental Congress. But, as per the prediction of other Congress members, Adams was to appoint John Hancock, a fellow New Englander, which he did not. 

His act of nominating Washington was entirely based on his impression based on Washington’s leadership quality and demeanor. This nomination resulted in one of the best decisions he had ever made, and this war gave birth to a great leader, George Washington, the first president ( 1798 ). 

Besides, Adams also argued for the permanent separation from Great Britain and its regulation. His act of fighting against unfairness and moving forward towards a fair system made him an influential persona.

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6.He had a vital role in the administration of the American Revolutionary War

The five committee members including John Adams responsible for the Independence
The five committee members including John Adams responsible for the Independence
Source: Wikimedia Common

John Adams was one of the Committee of Five others, including Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, Robert R. Livingston, and Thomas Jefferson.

They were selected on 11th June 1776 to draft the Declaration of Independence.

The first draft was documented by Jefferson, which was revised by Franklin and Adams and given to Congress on 28th June 1776. Apart from the draft, John Adams worked hard on creating an efficient American Navy by training, equipping the American Army. He was the leading member of the Board of War (1777) and a committee to administer the Continental Army while he trained the Army.

As a leader, he led more than ninety committees and gained the title of ‘ the first man in the House.’ The draft letter and preparation of the Army was to revolt against the rules, regulations, and taxation of the British Government.

5.John Marshall was appointed as Chief Justice of the United States by John Adams

A portrait of John Marshall, chief justice
A portrait of John Marshall, chief justice
Source: Wikimedia Common

John Adams, as a leader, had an outstanding quality of judging and knowing the strength of the people he was working with. Just the way he knew the power of Geroge Washington while nominating him as a commander for his political knowledge and leadership skills.

He appointed John Marshall as the Chief Justice of the United States. John Marshal was John Adams’s secretary of state and was appointed as the 4th Chief Justice.

He became one of the most influential chief justice as he constructed and defended the foundation of judicial power and American Federalism principles.

He served as the Supreme Court until 1835 and managed to change how the Supreme court worked during his rule, and his court was named Marshall Court. So, the appointment of the right person in the proper position led to the reformation of the court system and law system.

The court led to a developed legal system that cemented the position of the American judiciary as an influential and independent government branch: Marshal’s deeds and way of working made him the longest-serving chief justice of the United States.

The appointed and the good deeds and positive changes made by John Marshall became one of the most significant accomplishments of John Adams’s career.

4.John Adams was one of the most celebrated political authors

A book titled John Adams was written by David McCullough
A book titled John Adams was written by David McCullough
Source: Wikimedia Common

John Adams was the primary author of the Massachusetts Constitution ( 1780 ). This draft happened to be the world’s oldest written constitution that is still under function. It helped the Constitution of the U.S, which was written in 1787 and implemented in 1789.

His writing in this Constitution influenced the U.S Constitution and also gave birth to thoughts on Government. But, unfortunately, the draft and the article were always focused on controlling someone, especially the laws and systems in the U.S.

His most prominent writings include A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of American, written in 1787, and the Discourses on Davila,1790. 

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John Adams did not stop writing even after retiring from the position of President. He continued writing books, letters, columns, correspondence, and his autobiography. 

The autobiography was divided into three parts — John Adams with 53 folded sheets, Travels-Negotiations with 37 folded sheets, and Peace with 18 folded sheets.

3.He was responsible for the peaceful ending of the Quasi-War

An image of ships during the Quasi-War
An image of ships during the Quasi-War
Source: Wikimedia Common

The most efficient accomplishment of John Adams has to be his significant role in the peaceful ending of the Quasi-War, which otherwise would have led to a massive loss. 

John Adams was responsible for keeping the United States out of the Quasi-War and establishing the American Navy in foreign policy. The quasi-war was the war between two powerful countries, France and Great Britain.

The United States was playing a neutral role in the conflict, but the French Navy inflicted the loss on American Shipping. After this incident, John Adams, in 1797, sent a message to France to negotiate an end to the hostilities. 

Unfortunately, France began demanding a massive bribe for the negotiation. So, despite his peaceful try, the war broke out between France and America.

The American Navy was well prepared for the war and started inflicting damage on the French Navy, leading to decreased hostilities by 1800. Again in 1800, John Adams sent a delegation of Peace, which was accepted b the French. 

The second peaceful attempt led to the end of the ongoing war. The act, thoughts, and strategy in this war proved him the most efficient foreign policymaking leader.

2. John Adams was the U.S Ambassador to Netherlands and Britain

A photo of John Adams during Diplomacy in Britain and Netherlands
A photo of John Adams during Diplomacy in Britain and Netherlands
Source: Wikimedia Common

 John Adams was the U.S ambassador to Netherlands, Britain, and France. As an ambassador, John Adams helped negotiate a peace treaty with Britain and secured governmental loans. He was the first ambassador to Britain from 1785 to 1788.

He was also the U.S ambassador to the Netherlands for eight years, from 1782 to 1788. While he was in the Netherlands, he established contact with the economic and social elite. He befriended politicians and influential people who could be supporting the fledging republic in the war of independence.

He also signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce with the Netherlands in 1780. This treaty was to establish good trade with a wealthy partner as Netherland was the money market of Europe and gained a loan of a million guilders – 29 million guilders.

He arranged treaties of commerce with other European nations from 1784 until 1785. And while he was the ambassador to France during the American Revolution. However, he had a problem due to the culture and language barrier. 

1.John Adams was the first vice-president and the second president of the United States

A photo of John Adams during his 60s
Source: Wikimedia Common

John Adams was the first vice president of the United States, for which he served for eight years from 1789 until 1797. George Washington was the President at that time.

When President Washington stepped down from the presidency position to live his private life, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson fought for the presidency.

John Adams became the second U.S president after Washington and served from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1801. As a president, he focused on fair principles, the fair rule of law and divided the Government into three branches. 

Besides, he focused on expanding his Army and the Navy and worked significantly towards peacefully ending the Quasi-War. 


John Adams, a compelling person who always fought towards bringing fairness and fundamental rights, was respected by everyone in and around the U.S.  

He accomplished numerous notable deeds during his presidency and also as a lawyer. The accomplishments besides the ones mentioned above include the negotiation done with his help at the 1783 Treaty of Paris, his role in the fight for Independence, the signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Fries’s Rebellion, and the XYZ Affair.

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