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Discuss John Adam's character and skills. Discuss John Adams's character and skills,...

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joli777 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 13, 2011 at 2:18 AM via web

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Discuss John Adam's character and skills.

  1. Discuss John Adams's character and skills, both in terms of his personal and professional interactions. Give examples when these traits were beneficial, as well as when they proved a liability (hindrance or weakness).

 

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 13, 2011 at 8:59 AM (Answer #1)

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John Adams had a great deal of knowledge, education, and self-importance.  His education was Harvard law, and he was very active in the cause for American independence, including the first and second Continental Congresses.  He served George Washington as vice-president, but felt the position was a waste of his skills and knowledge.  As president, he had to deal with the possibility of war with France, and the XYZ affair; he was also the Chief Executive when Congress passed the notorious Alien and Sedition Acts.  A breach in the relationship between Adams and the egocentric Thomas Jefferson healed over the years as the men engaged in a copious correspondence debating civil and philosophical issues.  Both men died within hours of each other on July 4, 1826. 

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askteacherz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 13, 2011 at 8:16 PM (Answer #2)

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In an effort to elaborate on this topic I am of the opinion that the depth of knowledge for which John Adams had is important to know to reinforce his incredible intellect along with a better understanding of his character. First, he was considered to be the best legal mind in the colonies prior to the American Revolution. The best evidence of this is his successful defense of the British Troops in Boston for having slain the colonists at what was dubbed by the papers as the "Boston Massacre." He has been described as a workaholic. This is due to his relentless researching, reading and writing on law, government and freedom. Adams' personality however was his downfall. His was a very stubborn, rash and rather abrupt person; not at all a socially adept individual. He was also for the most part always overshadowed in notoriety by his cousin Sam. However he was a man of immense honor and virtue. His character and skills, while one might look at as being at odds with one another, actually helped to make him one of the great founders of our nation. A fabulous book has been developed by Edmund S. Morgan titled The Meaning Independence in which the character and personalities of Jefferson, Washington and John Adams are investigated. I suggest you look into this work as well.

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