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|John Adams||John Adams|
|Term of office||March 4, 1797–March 4, 1801|
|Preceded by||George Washington|
|Succeeded by||That Insufferable Bastard!|
|Date of birth||October 30, 1735|
|Place of birth||Braintree, Massachusetts|
|Date of death||July 4, 1826|
|Place of death||Coincidentally, the last place he was when he was alive|
|First Lady||Abigail Adams|
“Facts are queer things. I mean curious. Not that I'm curious...”
John Adams (October 30, 1735 – July 4, 1826) was an American politician and the second President of the United States (1797–1801), after being the first Vice President (1789–1797) for two terms. He is regarded as one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. Adams was best known by his contemporaries as the bitter and less intelligent counterpart (and sometimes friend) to Thomas Jefferson. Adams was constantly hounded by Jefferson's greater success and was always forced to follow in his footsteps. This caused Adams a considerable amount of stress during his life and ultimately caused his death, which happened to be on the same day as Jefferson's. Unfortunately, Jefferson outlived him by a few hours, thus beating him in the last contest the two ever undertook. This contest of course was to see who would be the ultimate man and hold off kicking the bucket for the longest.
Early Life and Education
John was born to humble surroundings on a quaint little farm outside Braintree, Massachusetts on 30 October, 1735. Jefferson, of course, was born to not-so humble surroundings in Albemarle County, Virginia. Adams spent most of his childhood slaving away for his father who was repressive and abusive. Jefferson spent most of his childhood frolicking in the fields with his friends. Adams decided at an early age that he would make something of himself at any cost. His first step towards mediocrity didn't seem to indicate as much when he enrolled at Harvard College at age 16. He soon realized that graduating from such a small and unprestigious school would get him nowhere. With his generic college diploma in hand after graduating 17th in his class of 23 students, Adams began to teach school children basic arithmetic and spelling. Adams later recalled that, "Those were some of the worst and most intolerable years of my life. Those little snot-nosed bastards never listened to me. I think they are the primary reason I became a drunkard."
Meanwhile in Virginia, Jefferson had already learned Greek, Latin, and French by age 9. By age 14, following the "curious" death of his father, Jefferson had inherited 5000 acres of land and dozens of helpers. Just like Adams, Jefferson departed for college at age 16. Jefferson, however, ended up at the much more prestigious William & Mary College and graduated after two years of study with the highest honors possible. Jefferson then enrolled for further study and eventually graduated with more accumulated knowledge than any other human being at that time and was easily the best graduate the school had ever produced. Adams meanwhile continued to sink into a constant pattern of binge drinking while teaching his class and ranting about the evil British.
Career in Law and Mid Years
Around the year 1757, Adams decided that his dream was not dead and began to plot just how he would become somebody of consequence. After witnessing the prosecution of a witch in a nearby town, Adams decided he would become a lawyer. Later in 1758 Adams was admitted to the bar. It was also around this time that Adams began to keep a diary in which he exclusively wrote down facts about events that happened and his impressions of people. His often incoherent writing reflect the bitter man that was developing within his very soul. Of his most prominent tutor in the law, James Putnam, Adams wrote, "This queer individual often makes a mess of himself at supper, daintily licking the refuse from his fat, porky little appendages that he happens to call fingers..." Adams continues in this manner for about three or four pages. He then states, "If it weren't for this bastard, I probably would have had to wait another two years to take the bar exam, so I suppose I should be offering him some form of thanks. None will be had though."
In the fall of 1764, John married his average-looking third-cousin Abigail Smith, who of course is best known as one of the most famous women in American History, Abigail Adams. Jefferson married the very attractive and wealthy widow known as Martha Skelton sometime after Adams married Abigail. Adams began to work more diligently than ever at this time, earning a reputation in the courts of Massachusetts as a stubborn and hard-nosed man who was unwilling to compromise on most, if not all of the issues the courts faced. John had his first experience in following in someone else's shadow when his brother, Sam Adams, became immensely popular for no good reason.
Activities Prior to the Revolution
Adams continued to practice law and criticize the crown in the years prior to the revolution. Adams came out in the year of 1765 as a voracious opponent of the Stamp Acts. He published an opinion piece in the Boston Post-Globe-Gazette, the local paper, in which he stated, "Never has it been more clear in all of my life, that our precious liberties are at stake. The King wishes to make us pay an extra two pence in order to buy the very paper you are now reading. This is outrageous! Very soon the king must decide if he is willing to wage war over these measly two pence, because I certainly am!" It was during this time that Jefferson became a very accomplished architect and garnered much fame for himself for designing his home, Monticello.
In 1770, Adams cemented himself into the American conscious by defending the radical Englisho-Fascist terrorists who slaughtered the folks of Boston during the Boston Massacre in court. This did not make Adams very popular. Adams felt that it was important for a society to be built upon moral foundations of unwavering law. Historians have since found out that Adams had placed an anonymous bet that the terrorists would walk free, and therefore argued on their behalf. At any rate, Adams successfully argued the terrorists free from all charges. Such modern conservative heroes as Glenn Beck and Liz Cheney have correctly pointed out that Adams was a horrible terrorist himself because he defended terrorists. Therefore, he should have been tried for treason and executed in accordance with the law of the land, which of course did not even exist at that point.
Declaration of Independence
In 1776, Adams was chosen as part of the Continental Congress' committee for drafting a Declaration of Independence. This was were Adams was first formally introduced to Thomas Jefferson. The two immediately took a liking to each other, and even though Jefferson stole the spotlight and wrote the entire document, Adams backed him up in debate like a loyal friend. Jefferson later said, "I was never quite sure why Adams took such a liking to me, I guess he thought I was the popular one that he should latch onto in order to grab some of the spotlight. He was most instrumental in convincing the Congress to accept my version of the declaration however, something that I will be forever grateful to him for." There is debate to this day whether of not Adams actually signed the Declaration or if someone else wrote his name by mistake, but his name does appear to be among the signatories.
Well, Adams was a coward and at the first sign of combat he offered to
flee post himself to Europe as a dignitary on behalf of the United States. Jefferson put himself on the front lines of service to America; he served as a state legislator during the first years of the war. For his native Virginia, Jefferson legislated some of the most influential laws the nation has ever seen, laying down the foundations for religious freedom and education reform. Jefferson then served as Virginia's wartime governor, even coming under assault from British troops. Adams enjoyed his time in Europe on Congress' dollar. He stayed in luxurious palaces in France while attempting to look like he was doing something useful. He was very adept at hoodwinking others into believing he was doing valuable work for the nation. At one point Congress figured out that Adams wasn't accomplishing anything and in 1779 they sent Ben Franklin and John Jay to help him negotiate a commerce treaty with Britain. Adams promptly took all of the credit for this and appointed himself the U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands. He served in such a capacity for a few years and also appointed himself ambassador to Great Britain as well.
After the passage of the Constitution in 1787, Adams was elected to the Vice Presidency, after being beaten by George Washington. Once again, Adams found himself in second place and second fiddle to a better man. To make matters worse, Washington didn't even consider Adams as a constitutional part of the Presidential Cabinet and basically ignored Adams and shut him out of meetings for his entire tenure as President. Adams became especially sour and glum during this time. It was also at this time that Alexander Hamilton began to court Adams into his ideological circle. This can be seen as the definitive moment in time in which Jefferson and Adams became bitter political enemies. Jefferson and Hamilton despised each other to the point that their decedents today still attempt to murder each other in the streets. When asked what it was that defined his time as Vice President, Adams responded, "It was the most boring thing I had ever done. I literally accomplished nothing over the course of eight long years."
The Election of 1796 is considered one of the bloodiest and most controversial elections in the history of the United States. Adams and Jefferson were pitted against each other head to head.