6th US Presidentby Rit Nosotro First Published:: 2003
On October 30th, 1735, in the small town of Braintree, Massachusetts, the man who would play one of the largest political roles in history saw his first glimpse of planet Earth. John Adams’ huge part in shaping our nation cannot be denied. His love and fire for freedom was surpassed perhaps only by his incredible sense of justice. Adams never gave up; he personified the “righteous man, who, falling down seven times, rises again” (Proverbs 24:16). He had his defeats, lost some debates, had laws and rules passed despite all he did to attempt to prevent them, but Adams never stopped striving for what he knew was right. Hebrews 12:1 says, “let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” Adams obeyed this commandment to his utmost ability.
Adams is as excellent an example of political genius as history has. From his Harvard graduation in the law field at age 20, to Continental Congress debates, to serving as the nation’s second President, Adams never failed to present a strong, logical, biblical argument. John Adams’ most notable success resides, of course, in that America exists today. During the Continental Congress, Adams campaigned tirelessly for the formation of a free and independent state, composed of the thirteen American colonies. Without Adams vision and desire for the creation of the United States, the colonies might have not declared their independence from Great Britain. However, Adams did not stop when the Continental Congress finally agreed to declare independence from Britain. He served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, and supported George Washington’s installment as Commander and Chief of the colonies’ army. While the Revolutionary War raged, John Adams served for a short time as an ambassador to France. During the war and in the years following, Adams served in several other diplomatic positions, including an ambassador position in Holland and on the committee that negotiated peace with Great Britain.
Adams last two major political positions were those of Vice President under George Washington and President of the United States of America. Unfortunately, during his term as President, relations with France strained, his own political party split, and overall his term was an unpleasant one. After his term ended, Adams retired to a quiet life at his home in Braintree, Mass., only once taking on another political position in the convention of Massachusetts that revised the constitution of that commonwealth. On July 4th, 1926, John Adams, the champion of America’s independence, active and influential politician in the first years of our nation, died. God works in mysterious ways, and perhaps it is not a coincidence that the Adams breathed his last on the day we celebrate what he fought so nobly for. John Adams did not fight on the battlefields for America’s independence, but in convention halls and political meetings, and on committees and delegations that shaped the course our nation would take as the years wore on.
Despite John Adams greatness in nearly all the political positions he filled, one glaring discrepancy stands out among his achievements. This discrepancy took place while Adams was serving with John Jay and Ben Franklin as negotiators with France and Britain, aiming towards a peace treaty after the Revolutionary War. The threesome from America were under instructions to "make the most candid confidential communications on all subjects to the ministers of our generous ally, the king of France; to undertake nothing in the negotiations for peace or truce without their knowledge or concurrence; and ultimately to govern yourself by their advice and opinion.” Instead of following these instructions and securing America’s budding friendship with France, John Jay and John Adams outvoted Ben Franklin and decided to negotiate directly with the British commissioners. God commands all his followers to authority set over us, for all authorities are God-appointed, unless the authority commands us to disobey one of God‘s commandments. This applies to all people, children to their parents, citizens to their government, and workers to their boss. John Adams failed to obey this command in this situation, and it ended up biting him several years later, when, during his Presidency, relations with France neared the snapping point during the XYZ Affair. Adams narrowly steered America clear from a war with their Revolutionary War ally, and one can only wonder if Adams considered his actions during the negotiations with Britain while the XYZ Affair unfolded.
Far more often, however, John Adams showed himself to be a God-fearing, respectable, honorable man. In 1970, the event now known as the Boston Massacre occurred. A rowdy mob of civilians who, angry at the British military occupation of Boston, heckled a group of British soldiers by throwing snowballs and trash at them. The soldiers fired on the mob, killing several and wounding more. One would think that Adams, as a supporter of Colonists’ rights and independence, would refuse to defend the British officer, Thomas Preston, in charge at the time of the Massacre, during his trial. However, Adams agreed to defend Preston and did so quite well. John Adams showed by this act that he had a degree of moral which distinguished him. His actions were governed by a firm faith in God and Jesus Christ, and what the Lord considered pure and right, not what others thought was right. Peter says in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than man.” John Adams knew God spoke through Peter, and never did he reveal it more than in his choices after the Boston Massacre.
John Adams legacy is one of political genius, creativeness, and bravery. He never backed down in his drive for liberty and justice. His ideas and believes were sound, both biblically and logically. Few men have ever done more for their country than John Adams. Fewer have ever dedicated themselves more to freedom and justice. And fewer still have done so with the Lord foremost in their hearts and minds. God blessed John Adams with the ability to lead his country to, as Adams declared on his deathbed, “Independence forever.”
www.whitehouse.gov - history section
Colonial Hall - www.colonialhall.com/index.php
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - en.wikipedia.org