John Adams was a man who believed in the law, and in fair play. If the soldiers could not get a fair trial, were we any better than the British and their high handed ways. John Adams knew he had to be the one, only a known radical could defend the soldiers. In the end, John Adams got most of the soldiers acquitted and the rest reduced to minor charges. The right by trial by jury was one of the rights the radicals were defending. The British were trying to limit trial by jury because too many smugglers were being acquitted. In Congress, John was one of the most militant members. He was often called loud and obnoxious. However it was John Adams who nominated George Washington as Commander in Chief. He worked tirelessly behind the scenes. John Adams was chairman of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was chosen to go to France to back up Franklin working in France. These were major assignments given to a leader, though he may have been direct and blunt to the point of rudeness. That was when John Adams, the man who later would be the second President of the United States, stepped in. He volunteered to defend the soldiers at no cost. He was already a prominent citizen of Boston and was identified with the patriot movement -- which at the time did not want formal independence from England but rather what we would today call "local autonomy." John Adams and his cousin Samuel Adams had a bitter falling-out over the first man's offer to defend the soldiers in the high-pressure trial. The firey patriot Samuel Adams said that this was a betrayal of the cause of freedom; the future President said that the reasons the colonists wanted independence was to free themselves from the lawless actions of the government, so their first duty must be to ensure the rule of law, and that required that the defendants be able to present the best legal defenses to the charges against them that the evidence would support.
In the trial, argued that the confusion...
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