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John Adams Essay

1879 words - 8 pages

John Adams

John Adams was criticized during his presidency by his enemies as well as his colleagues. Obviously, his reputation as president doesn't really bring a positive thought to ones head. But does John Adams deserve a better reputation as the president of the United States? He just did not do a very good job when it came to picking his cabinet. His colleagues messed up his reputation. On the other hand, a newspaper called the
Aurora, which was publicized in Philadelphia during his presidency, continually heaped abuse upon Adams. They claimed that he was all words, but no action. Most of the
country felt this way about him when it came to the issue with the war with France. John Adams was not a very popular president of his time. John Adams was born in
the village of Braintree near Boston on October 19,1735.(Ellis) Who would have thought that this farm boy would grow up to one day become president. John Adams first
ran for presidency in 1789, but he lost to George Washington, whom by far was the unanimous choice. Adams received thirty four electoral votes and became
vice-president. Adams ran for the second time in 1797, and this time he came out the victor. He defeated Thomas Jefferson by only three electoral votes. The country did not really have confidence in John Adams. On March 4, 1797, John Adams delivered his inaugural address and became the second president of the United
States. Being the president, Adams was allowed to choose his own cabinet. He replaced Washington's cabinet which consisted of Edmund Randolph, Alexander Hamilton,
Henry Knox, and William Bradford. Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts was appointed the secretary of state, Oliver Welcott of Connecticut became the secretary of
treasury, James McHenry of Maryland became the secretary of war, and Charles Lee of Virginia was appointed the attorney general. It is quite obvious that George Washington had a much better cabinet than Adams did. John Adam's cabinet was not nearly as witty
or as intelligent than the one of Washington. Obviously, Mr. Adams did not do too good of a job on choosing his colleagues. During John Adam's presidency, he ran into the biggest problem in foreign policy. The French were attacking American shipping. Hoping to resolve the problem, Adams sent Charles Pinckney, who was the United
States minister to France, John Marshall, a Virginian federalist, and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts. The mission was a total disaster. Charles Maurice de Tolleyrand-Perigod, the French foreign minister, sent three agents who demanded a bribe of 250,000 dollars
as the price for making a deal. The Americans went ballistic. "No, no, not a sixpence" was Charles Pinckney's response to the agents. This later became known as the XYZ affair. The talks of negotiations disappeared and all of a sudden there was the possibility of war. "Millions for defense, but not a cent for tribute" had become the national slogan. Just three months after Adams had become president,...

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