John Adams on Hbo: Join or Die

Topics: American Revolution, John Adams, Laura Linney Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: July 23, 2008
John Adams: Join or Die
The title of the show I watched was Join or Die, a part of the John Adams series shown on HBO in 2008. The director of this series was Tom Hooper, who won an Emmy Award in 2006 for his directing of another miniseries. The major stars of Join or Die in the John Adams series were: Paul Giamatti (playing John Adams), Laura Linney (playing Abigail Adams), and Danny Huston (playing Samuel Adams). This series gives insight into John Adams’ life in a modern perspective.

In the episode Join or Die, everything starts at the point of the Boston Massacre, due to the Coercive Acts, and most of the hour is spent on debating and choosing sides in court. After the event occurs, John Adams is asked to represent the English guards in the Massachusetts court of law. After hearing their story, he decided that representing them would only be right and just to the law. The viewers do not get to see John Adams’ planning process in the case, other than accepting it, since it jumps directly to the court scene. Here, the people of Massachusetts proceed in saying that the commander of the English guards, Captain Preston, told his men to fire upon the crowd of civilians. Adams opposes this and provides facts and evidence that contradict every part of the civilian argument, which is how he earns acquittal for the case against the guards. Later, Adams is offered a prominent position in the name of the King, but turns it down, which results in his appointment to the Continental Congress. This is where the episode ends, with Adams leaving his family and riding off to join the Congress.

Compared to our class lectures, this is a pretty similar story to what we have learned. We learned about the acquittal, and the Continental Congress, but never went into complete detail like this show did. We never did learn that Adams was offered the job with the King, nor that he was extremely opposed to the protests the colonists were using to hurt the English government. In the...
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