ADAMS, John( U.S. President in 1797-1801.)
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Biography ADAMS, John
Become a successor to Washington was quite hard. To John Adams is particularly difficult, . not only because, . that with its low, . plump figure, he seemed much less "presentable", . What a handsome general, . but rather because, . that Puritan New England his whole appearance produced conflicting impressions, . moreover, . He intellectually represents the opposite of the strong desire of the American Revolution to equality and democracy,
. There is no doubt that Adams belonged to the ability and morally irreproachable men of founding generation. Unlike the practice in Washington, it was a theorist of politics, who studied the great authors from Aristotle to Montesquieu, and was able to write state-legal treatises on the high. He believed that the mystery of political science, and defined its concept of "balance" (balance), and this understanding should apply in favor of union. Democracy for him was just one of many variables in the political equality. Also in the republican state, it must be balanced with the aristocratic and monarchical elements in the form of the Senate and the presidency. No doubt, many educated and affluent Americans thought the same, although not as systematically as Adams. In public, they are usually kept on the sidelines and give him the thankless task of preaching antielitarno mood of the people need, as he termed it, a "natural aristocracy". As President Adams did not act without success, although the historical view is inevitably determined by a disagreement between his worldview and the general climate of public opinion of his time.
To John Adams's presidency could be the ultimate brilliant career lawyer, politician and diplomat. Instead, four years in high office seemed to him sometimes nightmare. He was afraid that he branded as a loser. Under his rule the country fell into a long-term foreign policy crisis, domestic conflict between the parties took almost paranoid, hysterical form, and in the end the voters rejected him in trust. Despite this, Adams was convinced that he acted properly at the crucial moment and brought the necessary sacrifice for the public good.
. Unbridled ambition and selfless dedication are two sides of the same extremely difficult, . contradictory personality, . what it appears to us from the letters and, . especially, . from diaries, . which Adams, . with Puritan intransigence, . confided his thoughts, . desire, . fears and doubts in myself,
. John Adams, born October 30, 1735 in the family farmer and respected citizen in Braintree, Massachusetts, grew up in the countryside, but tending to form a family. After studying at Harvard, began his career as a lawyer and became one of the most prominent Boston lawyers. In 1764 he married Abigail Smith, a self-confident daughter of a pastor, not intellectually inferior to him. Thinking about his career, he initially restrained participated in the protest movement against England. In 1770, even successfully defended the British soldiers accused of perpetrated "massacre" of civilians in Boston. Demonstrations of force were as distasteful to him, as, from his point of view, unacceptable legal claims of the British Parliament. Under the influence of his cousin Samuel Adams, he joined the radical wing "patriots", but always remained a fan of "old" British constitution, which was greatly appreciated opposition Whigs in England. As a delegate of the Continental Congress vigorously pursue independence, and in Congress confederations included in all important committee. In 1778, the first time with his son, John Quincy went on a diplomatic mission to Europe, where he was, however, stood in the shade of Benjamin Franklin. Upon his return in 1779 developed a new constitution for Massachusetts, which in its main features - a strong executive power, bicameralism, and judicial independence - carried out his ideal of a mixed and limited forms of government. It became known his statement that it is about creating a "government of laws and not men."
Adams was one of three American delegates, who in 1782-83 he. made peace with England in Paris, and in 1785 he was appointed the first United States envoy in London. Here he wrote a scientific treatise on constitutional issues, which some American state constitutions has been criticized for lack of balance and "excessive democracy".. His influence on the debate about the constitution in 1787-88 he. was small, but the author firmly got back home from the radical Republicans. Interestingly, the privately Adams agreed with antifederalist that a new federal constitution ignores the division of power, particularly between the president and the Senate. Stubbornness and easily excitable temperament constantly plunged Adams in a difficult situation, but they made him an attractive character. Enlightened skepticism in religious matters in line with the political life of almost masochistic mistrust, the constant feeling that he might injure or be unfair to him would cost. But he also longed for public recognition and fame, as his Calvinist ancestors - Salvation. Contemporaries knew Adams as a knot of contradictions, as a man who can be both arrogant and doubt myself, vindictive and magnanimous, despite frequent bouts of pessimism that has prevailed a deep sense of humor.
. In 1788, Adams returned to Massachusetts, where his name was widely discussed in connection with the presidency
. Himself, he took few chances against Washington and was therefore not too disappointed when he had to be content as vice president. In this function he had little influence, because Washington is rarely consulted him. As president of the senate had the deciding vote in a tie and used it on numerous occasions, and always in favor of strengthening the federal government and the executive. In addition, he assisted the president in the cases stipulated by the protocol, which attracted worldwide attention, first of all his clothes - wig, sword, belt, pants to his knees, and silk stockings. When he was in the Senate debate on the title suggested to the President, His Highness "., . his criticism of entrenched in suspicion, . that Adams (jokingly called "His Bulk.") corrupted by a long stay in the European courts, and - as Jefferson put it - was turned into a superstition of the hereditary monarchy and aristocracy,
. Adams considered himself a Republican, but did not conceal his belief that the United States in the future become a "monarchical republic". As England. Contempt for public opinion, he proved in 1791 published "Reflections on Davile" - in which sharply criticized the French Revolution, while most Americans enthusiastically welcomed her. Thus he lost his last Republican sympathies and friendship of Jefferson. In the northern states it is respected, and in 1792 he was again confirmed in his post, won second place by number of votes cast for him.
. In the subsequent time Adams saw the vice-presidency ( "the most insignificant office invented ever") as the expectation of the highest honor
. When in late 1795, Washington made it clear that he would not stand as a candidate for president, members of Congress, the Federalists agreed to Adams as the successor. Election campaign in 1796, held in 16 states (Kentucky, Tennessee and Vermont also have belonged to the Union), began a new stage of development of the American party system. Federalists and Republicans have acted as a tightly-knit coalition of economic, regional, ethnic groups, which differed greatly from each other in ideology and program. The Republicans put up candidates Jefferson and Aaron Burra and mobilized at first - "ordinary Americans"., Artisans, farmers and settlers. Their press attacked Adams as a monarchist, an adherent of England, who wants to destroy the gains of the revolution. In these circumstances, the outcome was unclear, moreover, that the leading Federalists questioned the suitability of Adams, famous for his vanity and irritability. In fact, Adams barely prevailed over Jefferson, who would be enough to win just two more votes. The fact that the rival presidential became vice-president, shows how little the fathers of the Constitution considered the national parties. Jefferson did not take the post seriously, and retired to his estate Monticello. In 1804 the 12 th Amendment, mandating separate votes for president and vice-president, took into account the changed domestic conditions.
At the inauguration March 4, 1797 Adams promised consistency and reconciliation. Demonstrating respect for the predecessor, fully retained the latter, rather mediocre, the Cabinet of Washington. He later called the move the biggest mistake since realized too late that the majority of ministers have been less loyal to him than to Alexander to Hamilton, who from his law firm in New York tried to hold the reins of power. Like Washington, Adams saw himself as a president, one who cares about the common good, and stands above parties and factions. To do this, he developed a very specific conception of the presidency, which began to. From his point of view, the president must take primary responsibility for the stability of the entire state system, . speaking - depending on whether, . where the greatest danger - or against prone to the irrationality of the masses, . or against the obsessive power and wealth elites,
. From this representation of the presidency as an independent intermediary between the significant social forces turned to the practice of the Board wonderful blend of power and prosperity of passivity. In Adams, in fact, there was no program that he would have to. So he did not find that a good half of the year spent in Massachusetts, far from the city of Philadelphia. On the other hand, he could solve problems quickly and decisively, if they think that the balance would be threatened.
. Adams is not particularly interested in economic issues, especially that in his opinion, excessive welfare undermined the moral foundations of republican
. In his inaugural speech, he outlined the support of American neutrality, its main task. Foreign policy immediately brought to the fore, as the treaty even though Jay and ensure peace with England, but from the autumn of 1796 quickly deteriorated relations with France. After the unilateral termination of the alliance in 1778 it moved to ensure that seriously impede U.S. trade in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic. Because of this undeclared war broke out on the sea, which is increasingly worried about the souls of Americans. In May 1797 the President decided, despite the opposition of extremist Federalist, to send to Paris, the three envoys on special cases that should have been in the style of Jay's mission to seek solutions through negotiations. Only six months after their departure in Philadelphia received a message from the delegation: according to him, Foreign Minister Talleyrand informed American diplomats through intermediaries, . that negotiations will be possible only: if he will hand over a solid amount of money, . if the U.S. will give the French credit, and if the president apologizes for remarks hostile to France,
. The incident went down in history as "The Sting XYZ"., Because Adams ordered to report to Congress required by the names of intermediaries letters.
. Requirements Talleyrand was summoned to the just indignation of America, which has further swelled the Federalist, and for some time, and Adams, to ignite a war mood, to start arming and weaken the domestic political enemy
. Federalist majority in Congress insisted on the construction of warships, the establishment of the Ministry of the Navy and the increased need for this tax. Moreover, . the summer of 1798 Congress issued records on aliens and subversive, . four laws, . which made it difficult to acquire the nationality of migrants and political activity (it was sent, . primarily, . against the French and hostile to England Irish) and forbidden under penalty of public criticism of the government and the president (that would silence a fierce Republican partisan press),
. Adams was not the initiator of these repressive laws, but they signed and executed, although not so consistently and rigidly. External threats and internal conflict were linked: the Federalists accused their opponents in an alliance with France, and the Republicans had a stronghold in the south, declared in case of war resistance, including secession.
. The longer the crisis, the more the president doubted the correctness of the course
. This was facilitated by disagreement over the command of the army, which had ended so that, against his will, he acknowledged Hamilton's second, after Washington, the officer. He is suspected of Hamilton in the desire to engage him in a military adventure to satisfy his ambition and implement plans to conquer in Louisiana and Florida. Mentally wretched illness of his wife - Abigail did not like the "brilliant poverty presidency." As she called it, and she often stayed in Massachusetts, he increasingly felt himself surrounded by enemies. Therefore, he felt relieved when the autumn of 1798, through diplomatic and informal channels have started to act peaceful tones of the French. Despite sharp protests from radical federalists - they reproached him in indecision, cowardice and betrayal, it was even on the mental obsession, strongly defended his decision. To break the resistance of federal senators peace mission, even threatened to resign, which would contribute to his sworn enemy to make Jefferson's presidency. War hysteria soon died away, although the start of negotiations dragged on for months. In October 1800 signed a lucrative contract to the U.S. with Napoleonic France, which the Senate ratified another with Adams.
. Adams, . perhaps, . seemed, . he, . in accordance with his theory, . initially prevented by the Acts of the Aliens and subversive activities "mob rule", . then, . with the sole solution to the conflict with France, . put in place haughty, . manipulated Hamilton - "aristocracy of money.",
. But this "classic". view is not consistent with the political and social realities of the United States at the turn of the XIX century. Adams delivered his country from war, but was now sitting between all chairs, and the prospect of being elected again almost collapsed. True, . collection of federal deputies of the Congress endorsed in the end of 1799, his application, . but the party split has deepened, . When Adams kicked out of the office of followers of Hamilton - it was the final blow, . caused by man, . which in a fit of his intemperance called "unprincipled schemer",
. and "foreign bastard", and in which Abigail had seen "the second Bonaparte.. After that, Adams felt quite free, . to pardon Farmer John Vries, . who as the leader of a small revolt, . against taxes, . was sentenced to death and whose supporters wanted to punish Hamilton an example to others,
. Hamilton took revenge by publicly stating in the election campaign of the failure of Adams to be president. This unprecedented insult to hurt him as much as Adams, who in the elections only slightly lagged behind the Republican candidates Jefferson and Burra. Adams treated with respect to the results of the election and rejected the notion that you need the power to prevent transfer of power to the Republicans.
. The last months of his presidency, Adams spent in Washington, where, according to the law on the capital from 1790, the government moved in the spring of 1800
. The move was fairly easy, since all the documents of all the ministries were put in seven large boxes. Abigail was the "first lady" in the presidential palace, which she was criticized as too large, poorly furnished, inadequate and poorly lit heated. Her husband asked the blessing of heaven to the house and prayed that the "only honest and wise men could rule under this roof.". Adams took care of the soil for future conflicts by appointing Federalists to the many judges, these positions were created under a law issued by Congress. Without a doubt, the most important was the decision to appoint a federal judge of the Supreme his last foreign minister, John Marshall, because it has long affected the strengthening of the federal government and the executive. March 4, 1801, a few hours before the introduction of Jefferson's office, Adams, the first president who was not elected to a second term, quietly left the capital in the direction of New England.
. In 65 years of ex-president felt too old and too weak to return to the field counsel or start a new service
. He lived another 25 years as the oldest politician in Quincy near Boston, he had a lot of free time to reflect on their experiences of the American Revolution and the course of history in general. These reflections have reached the literary and philosophical quality in intensive correspondence, which he began in 1811 with his former antagonist, Jefferson and that helped him overcome the bitterness of defeat. After his son, John Quincy Adams was elected president in 1824, he died July 4, 1826, the day of the 50 th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, a few hours before Jefferson. This is a very surprising coincidence helped to strengthen the myth of the "founding fathers" and strengthen the faith in the guiding hand of Providence. ". Today, John Adams is considered by law a significant public figure, but this estimate is based on the achievements of his life, and not for the presidency in the first place, which gave little new impulses "American experiment".