The Legacy of John Adams In the early history of the United States, many founding fathers and people before them helped shape the underpinning for our nation’s liberty. Of the founding fathers and persons who were essential in the naissance of the great nation known today as the United States of America, John Adams is undoubtedly one of the most vital of them all. John Adams by David McCullough did not only do Adams’ life story justice, it also painted the man and his works so vividly in every bit of glory he deserves.
The period of the 1700s was one filled with fear of the nation’s former paternal country and also full of desire for independence. It was through Adams’ hard determination and defense in the country’s ability to stand on its own and fight for the rights and beliefs of its people that the nation was able to gain its place in the world, but most importantly, its independence and the right to exist. Before one may call themselves a true patriot and citizen of their country, one must first be educated of the origins of the nation.
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Prior to reading John Adams by McCullough, I only knew that Adams was a founding father of our homeland and served as the second president of the U. S. A. After reading his biography I learned that Adams was so much more in regards to the making of our country. Through the biography, it was learned that John Adams was a great orator and political philosopher of his time. As Thomas Jefferson recalled, “[his] power of thought and expression…moved us from our seats. If ever the nation’s integrity and value was in need of protecting, Adams was always the first one defend it and try to sway the perspective of his fellow delegates to his own views with such eloquence and persistence, he hardly ever lost. The most interesting learned from the book was his ability to move so many people and lead a nation despite his pride and notorious vanity. I believe it was through his sincere love for the country and his fortitude in preserving all the values we today hold dear that he was able to lead the nation through harsh trials, such as evading a war. Our obligations to our country never cease but with out lives. ” This quote said by John Adams shows evidence enough of these things. In the biography, rare is the instance in which McCullough critically assesses Adams’ actions, as he was in complete awe and praise of the man as evident throughout the entirety of the book. In the words of McCullough, “few Americans ever achieved so much of such value and consequence to their country in so little time. (163) this quote was directly talking about the arduous work done by Adams in congress and the respect and admiration he had gained by many of his colleagues in congress. Another close friend of Adams, Benjamin Rush, once wrote of him, “this illustrious patriot has not his superior, scarcely his equal for abilities and virtue on the whole continent of America. ” (163) Quotes such as these are apparent verification that McCullough was completely in praise of Adams.
Though it may be argued that many other early Americans also contributed as much as Adams’ did in the establishment of this country, it must also be argued that Adams’ role was amongst the most impacting and influential. Although the thought of rebellion against America’s then paternal country was in the minds of the people, it was Adams’ who gave it a voice and the opportunity to flourish. Through elegant and emotive cases, Adams was able to commence the movement for independence as well as the creation of our nation’s most sacred document. …With his sense of urgency and unrelenting drive, Adams made the Declaration of Independence happen when it did. Had it come later, the course of events could have gone very differently. ” (163) I am in complete accord with McCullough’s interpretation of Adams’ life. Adams’ respectable qualities, virtues, as well as beliefs set an imperative cornerstone in the foundation of our country today. Without his ability to expressively negotiate with peoples such as he had to do at home in the courtroom, or in the courtroom of foreign European delegates, the nation we know today may have been a very different one.
The history and legacy of John Adams and the services he did for the United States of America is one that will live in on for all eternity. Without the counsel, guidance, wisdom and stubbornness of John Adams and his love as well as his firm belief in the prosperity of the unborn nation, the United States may have continued to suffer the long endured oppression of England. McCullough, David. John Adams. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2001.