John Adams- 2nd President. Served one term, From Mass. Federalist. His political views were very influenced by James Harrington’s Oceana that was published in 1656 and outlined a model republic with an elected executive chosen by property owners. Adams became the leading American advocate of the principal “balanced government,” arguing that the upper houses of the American legislature were the natural home for people of wealth and status.
Adams was fiercely independent. Hated political parties (Federalists as well as Republicans) was suspicious of Europe, did not have political experience.
Adams found himself on the ballot in the presidential election of 1789. Washington won while Adams finished second, signaling that his standing Adams was elected America’s first vice president Adams himself described the vice presidency as “the most insignificant office that ever invented by man. His main duty was to serve as president of the Senate, casting a vote only to break a tie. He supported all the major initiatives of the Washington administration, including the financial plan of Alexander Hamilton, the Neutrality Proclamation (1793), which effectively ended the Franco-American Alliance of 1778, the forceful suppression of an insurrection in western Pennsylvania called the Whiskey Rebellion (1794), and the Jay Treaty (1795), a highly controversial effort to avoid war with England by accepting British hegemony on the high seas. When Washington announced his decision not to seek a third term in 1796, Adams was the logical choice to succeed him. In the first contested presidential election in American history, Adams won a narrow electoral majority (71–68) over Jefferson, who thereby became vice president. Adams made an initial effort to bring Jefferson into the cabinet and involve him in shaping foreign policy, but Jefferson declined the offer, preferring to retain his independence. This burdened the Adams presidency with a vice president who was the acknowledged head of the rival political party, the Republicans (subsequently the Democratic-Republicans). Additional burdens included: inheritance of Washington’s cabinet, whom Adams unwisely decided to retain, and whose highest loyalty was to Washington’s memory as embodied in Hamilton; a raging naval conflict with the French in the Caribbean dubbed the “quasi-war”; and the impossible task of succeeding—no one could replace— If ending the “quasi-war” with France was Adams’s major foreign policy triumph, his chief domestic failure was passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), which permitted the government to deport foreign-born residents and indict newspaper editors or writers who published "false, scandalous, and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States." A total of 14 indictments were brought against the Republican press under the sedition act, but the crudely partisan prosecutions quickly became infamous persecutions that backfired on the Federalists. Although Adams had signed the Alien and Sedition Acts under pressure from the Federalists in Congress, he shouldered most of the blame both at the time and in the history books. He came to regard the sedition act as the biggest political blunder of his life. Aaron Burr, (born February 6, 1756, Newark, New Jersey [U.S.]—died September 14, 1836, Port Richmond, New York, U.S.), third vice president of the United States (1801–05), who killed his political rival, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel (1804), and whose turbulent political career ended with his arrest for treason in 1807. Benjamin Franklin American printer and publisher, author, inventor and scientist, and diplomat. One of the foremost of the Founding Fathers, Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence and was one of its signers, represented the United States in France during the American Revolution, and was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He made important contributions to science, especially in the...
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