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Adams, John. (1735 - 1826).

L i f e

- husband of Abigail Adams, one of history’s best-known First Ladies; father of John Quincy Adams, the 6th US President

- received uni education, studied law at Harvard

- an all-purpose diplomat for the New Rep. >> Vice-President under George Washington >> President for one term, respected x but: not beloved, defeated by his long-time political rival Thomas Jefferson the next term

- his policies = a balance wheel between the contrary Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton’s policies

- a central figure in the Revolutionary group opposing the British measures, member of the drafting committee of the “Declaration of Independence”, one of the negotiators to draw up the Treaty of Paris to end the American Revolution

W o r k

Diary of John Adams:

- detailed personal commentaries on numerous subjects and individuals

- one of the most important firsthand records of life and politics during the late Colonial and Revolutionary eras

Thoughts on Government: Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies (1776):

- attempts to find the balance between New England’s republicanism x the South’s democratic scepticism

A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America Against the Attack of Mr Turgot (1788):

- a 3-volume response to the British critics questioning the political and economic promise of the US


- to and from his wife written during his being absent to participate in the political controversies of the coming Revolution, to and from Thomas Jefferson written after his own retirement, etc.


"I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy". John Adams in a letter to his wife (1780).


(Painting: Gilbert Stuart. Source: Wikimedia Commons).

  • Author

    John Adams. (1735 - 1826). American.
  • Work

    Politician. US President.
  • Genre

    Political writing.


Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.

Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American  Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.

Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1994.

McQuade, Donald, gen.ed. The Harper American Literature. New York: Harper & Collins, 1996.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od  puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.

Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.


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