John Adams's Presidency

Start Free Trial

I need to know which obstacles John Adams faced as president.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

John Adams faced several obstacles while he was President. One of the obstacles he faced was dealing with France. France was seizing our ships, and when President Adams sent representatives to France to discuss this issue, the French refused to meet with our representatives for several weeks. When they did...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

John Adams faced several obstacles while he was President. One of the obstacles he faced was dealing with France. France was seizing our ships, and when President Adams sent representatives to France to discuss this issue, the French refused to meet with our representatives for several weeks. When they did indicate they were willing to meet, the French insisted that we pay them a bribe in order to talk. Americans were outraged and wanted us to go to war against France. President Adams knew this wasn’t good for the United States, and he instead worked out an agreement when both countries agreed not to seize each other’s ships. This move, while good for the country, hurt President Adams politically.

Another obstacle President Adams faced was that there was a political party opposing him. While President Washington didn’t really have to deal with political parties, there were two political parties in the election of 1796. John Adams was a Federalist. The other party was the Democratic-Republican Party. The Democratic-Republicans were criticizing the Federalists. Thus, the Federalists passed two laws that tried to silence the Democratic-Republicans. The Sedition Act made any false or critical speech about the government illegal. The Alien Act increased the length of time it took for an immigrant to become a citizen. Since immigrants seemed to be more supportive of Democratic-Republican Party, this law would hurt them because it would take longer for immigrants to become citizens and to be able to vote. Virginia and Kentucky declared these laws illegal. However, before these laws could be tested in court, the laws were ended after the election of 1800 that was won by the Democratic-Republicans.

While John Adams was President, he faced several obstacles. Both of these obstacles were factors in his defeat in the election of 1800 when he tried to get reelected as President.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team