Presidency of John Adams
The presidency of John Adams, began on March 4, 1797, when John Adams was inaugurated as President of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1801. Adams, who had served as vice president under George Washington, took office as the second United States president after winning the 1796 presidential election. The only member of the Federalist Party to ever serve as president, Adams's presidency ended after a single term with his defeat in the 1800 presidential election. He was succeeded by Thomas Jefferson of the Democratic-Republican Party.
His time in office was dominated by the Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war with France. To respond to attacks on American shipping and a potential French invasion, Adams presided over an expansion of the army and navy, including the founding of the Department of the Navy. These increased expenditures required greater federal revenue, and Congress passed the Direct Tax of 1798. The war and its associated taxation provoked domestic unrest, and Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts in an attempt to curb opposition to the war. Over the opposition of many within his own party, including Alexander Hamilton, Adams sought peace with the French, and the Convention of 1800 brought an end to the Quasi-War in the waning days of the Adams administration. Opposition to the Quasi-War and the Alien and the Sedition Acts, as well as the intra-party rivalry with Hamilton, all contributed to Adams's loss to Jefferson in the 1800 election.
Historians have difficulty assessing Adams's presidency. Adams was able to avoid war with France, arguing that war should be a last resort to diplomacy. In this argument, he won the nation the respect of its most powerful adversaries. Although Adams was fiercely criticized for signing the Alien and Sedition Acts, he never advocated their passage nor personally implemented them, and he pardoned the instigators of Fries's Rebellion. Seen in this light, Adams's legacy is one of reason, virtuous leadership, compassion, and a cautious but vigorous foreign policy. At the same time, Adams's stubborn independence left him politically isolated. He alienated his own cabinet, and his elite republicanism stood in stark contrast to the more egalitarian Jeffersonian democracy that was poised to assume power in the new century.
- 1 Election of 1796
- 2 Inauguration
- 3 Administration and cabinet
- 4 Relations with the French
- 5 Alien and Sedition Acts
- 6 Taxation and Fries's Rebellion
- 7 Relations with Spain
- 8 Election of 1800
- 9 Final days in office
- 10 Evaluation
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Primary sources
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Election of 1796
The 1796 election was the premier contest under the First Party System. During the presidency of George Washington, the French Revolution, the Jay Treaty, and the economic policies of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton led to a political divide and the founding of the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. With Washington's retirement after two terms, the two fledgling parties vied for control of Congress and the presidency in the 1796 election. As the election took place before the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment, each presidential elector cast two votes for president, with the leading vote-winner becoming president and the individual with the second most electoral votes becoming vice president.
Adams and Hamilton both hoped to lead the Federalist Party, but Vice President Adams was widely viewed as Washington's "heir apparent," and he consolidated support among his party's electors. While Adams was generally viewed as the Federalist presidential candidate and Ambassador Thomas Pinckney of South Carolina as the party's vice presidential candidate, Hamilton hoped that Pinckney's Southern supporters could help elect Pinckney to the presidency. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson won the support of the Democratic-Republicans for the presidency, while Senator Aaron Burr of New York attracted the most support among his party's candidates for the vice presidency. In keeping with the current practice, Adams and most other candidates stayed in their home towns rather than actively campaign for the presidency. The Federalist Party, however, campaigned for him, while the Democratic-Republicans campaigned for Jefferson. In the end, Adams won the election by a narrow margin of 71 electoral votes to 68 for Jefferson, while Pinckney finished in third with 59 electoral votes. Having won the second-most electoral votes, Jefferson became Adams's vice president. Hamilton's plan to convince the electors of South Carolina to cast their second votes for Pinckney rather than Adams angered and embarrassed the latter, widening the divide between the two most prominent leaders of the Federalist Party.
Adams took office as the second President of the United States on March 4, 1797. He became the leader of a country of five million individuals, with two-thirds of those inhabitants living within one hundred miles of the East Coast of the United States. Avoiding the mistakes of his vice presidency, Adams wore an unpretentious suit to his own inauguration. In his speech, Adams praised Washington and called for political unity. He also stated his desire to avoid war and, to the disappointment of some of his Federalist allies, praised the nation of France. His speech was well-received by those in attendance. Adams moved into the President's House in the capital of Philadelphia, and was quickly confronted by job applicants and deteriorating relations with the French.
Administration and cabinet
|The Adams Cabinet|
|Vice President||Thomas Jefferson||1797–1801|
|Secretary of State||Timothy Pickering||1797–1800|
|Secretary of Treasury||Oliver Wolcott, Jr.||1797–1801|
|Secretary of War||James McHenry||1796–1800|
|Attorney General||Charles Lee||1797–1801|
|Secretary of the Navy||Benjamin Stoddert||1798–1801|
Lacking precedent for a clearing out of the cabinet, Adams chose to retain Washington's top officials. Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, Secretary of War James McHenry, and Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Jr. were all more loyal to Hamilton than Adams, and they often actively worked against Adams's policies. The "Hamiltonians who surround him," Jefferson soon remarked, "you are only a little less hostile to him than to me." Although aware of the Hamilton factor, Adams was convinced their retention ensured a smoother succession. Adams often made decisions independently of his cabinet, keeping his own counsel until he publicly announced a new policy. Such self-reliance enabled him to avoid war with France, despite a strong desire among his cabinet secretaries for the conflict. Tired of fighting his own cabinet, Adams dismissed Pickering and McHenry in 1800, replacing them with John Marshall and Samuel Dexter, respectively.
Relations with the French
The president's term was marked by disputes concerning the country's role, if any, in the expanding conflict in Europe, where Britain and France were at war. Hamilton and the Federalists supported Britain, while Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans favored France. The intense battle over the Jay Treaty in 1795 had previously polarized politics throughout the nation and alienated the French. The treaty had resolved few of the major American complaints against the British, including British impressment of American sailors, but Washington viewed the treaty as preferred signing the treaty over fighting another war with the British. The French were outraged by the Jay Treaty and began seizing American merchant ships that were trading with the British. In the 1796 elections, the French supported Jefferson for president, and became even more belligerent at his loss. Nevertheless, when Adams took office, pro-French sentiment in the United States remained strong due to France's assistance during the Revolutionary War.
Adams hoped to maintain friendly relations with France, and he sent a delegation to Paris asking for compensation for the French attacks on American shipping. In what became known as the XYZ Affair, French Foreign Minister Talleyrand demanded a bribe before the beginning of formal negotiations. In a speech to Congress in April 1798, Adams publicly revealed Talleyrand's machinations, sparking public outrage at the French. The affair substantially weakened popular American support of France, and many Americans began to demand full-scale war. However, the president knew that America would be unable to win a conflict, as France at the time was dominating the fight in most of Europe. Adams therefore pursued a strategy whereby American ships harassed French ships in an effort sufficient to stem the French assaults on American interests. This undeclared naval war between the U.S. and France became known as the Quasi-War.
Fearing the possibility of a French invasion, Adams and the Federalist congress built up the army, bringing back Washington as its commander. Washington wanted Hamilton to be his second-in-command and Adams reluctantly accommodated. Adams asked Congress to authorize the creation of a twenty-five thousand man army and a major expansion of the navy; Congress authorized a ten-thousand man army and a moderate expansion of the navy, which at the time consisted of one unarmed custom boat. Due to his support for the expansion of the Navy and the creation of the United States Department of the Navy, Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". Led by Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Stoddert, the Navy won several successes in the Quasi-War, including the capture of L'Insurgente, a powerful French warship. The navy also opened trade relations with Saint-Domingue (now known as Haiti), a rebellious French colony in the Caribbean Sea.
Democratic-Republicans were skeptical of the administration's account of the XYZ affair, and many of Jefferson's supporters undermined and opposed Adams's efforts to defend against the French. Many Democratic-Republicans feared that war with France would lead to an alliance with England, which in turn could allow the allegedly monarchist Adams to further his domestic agenda. For their part, many Federalists, particularly the conservative "arch-Federalists," deeply feared the radical influence of the French Revolution. Economics also drove the divide between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, as Federalists sought financial ties with England while many Democratic-Republicans feared the influence of English creditors.
Over the opposition of many in his own party, Adams resisted the escalation of the Quasi-War. The president's continued support for Elbridge Gerry, a Democratic-Republican who Adams had sent to France at the beginning of his term and who continued to seek peace with the French, particularly frustrated many Federalists.  Hamilton's influence in the War Department also widened the rift between Federalist supporters of Adams and Hamilton. At the same time, the creation of a large standing army raised popular alarm and played into the hands of the Democratic-Republicans.
In February 1799, Adams surprised many by announcing that he would send diplomat William Vans Murray on a peace mission to France. However, Adams delayed sending a delegation while he awaited the construction of several U.S. warships, which he hoped would alter the balance of power in the Caribbean. Much to the chagrin of Hamilton and other arch-Federalists, the delegation was finally dispatched in November 1799. The prospects for peace were bolstered by the ascent of Napoleon November 1799, as Napoleon viewed the Quasi-War as a distraction from the ongoing war in Europe. In the spring of 1800, the delegation sent by Adams began negotiating with the French delegation, led by Joseph Bonaparte. The war came to a close when both parties signed the Convention of 1800 in September, but the French refused to recognize the abdication of the Treaty of Alliance of 1778, which had created a Franco-American alliance. The United States gained little from the settlement other than the suspension of hostilities with the French, but this proved fortunate for the U.S. as the French would gain a temporary reprieve from war with Britain in the 1802 Treaty of Amiens. News of the signing of the convention did not arrive in the United States until after the election, but Adams was able to win Senate ratification of the convention in the lame duck session of Congress. Having concluded the war, Adams demobilized the emergency army.
Alien and Sedition Acts
The U.S. became increasingly polarized by the Quasi-War, and Adams faced bitter attacks in the press. Many recent immigrants, including those from Ireland, looked favorably on the French and opposed the British. One Irish-American Congressman, Matthew Lyon, became particularly notable after he spat on and fought a Federalist Congressman. In an attempt to quell the unrest among immigrants and opposition to the war, the Federalists introduced, and Congress passed, a series of laws collectively referred to as the "Alien and Sedition Acts," which were signed by Adams in 1798. Historians debate Adams's involvement in the passage of the acts, as Adams would later deny in his memoirs that he had sought the acts, but his complaints regarding the "libelous" attacks on his presidency may have played a role in the passage of the laws.
The Alien and Sedition Acts consisted of four measures – the Naturalization Act, the Alien Friends Act, the Alien Enemies Act, and the Sedition Act. These statutes were designed to mitigate the threat of secessionists by disallowing their most extreme firebrands. The Naturalization Act increased to 14 years the period of residence required for an immigrant to attain American citizenship (naturalized citizens tended to vote for the Democratic-Republicans.) The Alien Friends Act and the Alien Enemies Act allowed the president to deport any foreigner (from friendly and hostile nations, respectively) which he considered dangerous to the country. The Sedition Act made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials. Punishments included 2–5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.
The acts became controversial from prosecution thereunder of a Congressman and a number of newspaper editors. Indeed, the Federalist administration initiated fourteen or more indictments under the Sedition Act, as well as suits against five of the six most prominent Democratic-Republican newspapers. The majority of the legal actions began in 1798 and 1799, and went to trial on the eve of the 1800 presidential election–timing that hardly appeared coincidental, according to biographer Ferling. Other historians have cited evidence that the Alien and Sedition Acts were rarely enforced, namely: 1) only 10 convictions under the Sedition Act have been identified; 2) Adams never signed a deportation order; and 3) the sources of expressed furor over the acts were Democratic-Republicans. However, other historians have emphasized that the Acts were employed for political targeting from the outset, causing many aliens to leave the country. The acts as well allowed for prosecution of many who opposed the Federalists, even on the floor of Congress. Rejecting the constitutionality of the acts, Jefferson and James Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, in which the governments of Kentucky and Virginia purportedly nullified the acts. As debate over the acts continued, the election of 1800 became a bitter and volatile contest, with each side expressing extraordinary fear of the other and its policies; after Democratic-Republicans prevailed in the elections of 1800, they used the acts against Federalists before the laws finally expired.
Taxation and Fries's Rebellion
To pay for the military buildup of the Quasi-War, Adams and his Federalist allies enacted the Direct Tax of 1798. Direct taxation by the federal government was widely unpopular, and the government's revenue under Washington had mostly come from excise taxes and tariffs. Though Washington had maintained a balanced budget with the help of a growing economy, increased military expenditures threatened to cause major budget deficits, and Hamilton, Wolcott, and Adams developed a taxation plan to meet the need for increased government revenue. The Direct Tax of 1798 instituted a progressive land value tax of up to 1% of a the value of a property. Taxpayers in eastern Pennsylvania resisted federal tax collectors, and in March 1799 the bloodless Fries's Rebellion broke out. Led by Revolutionary War veteran John Fries, rural German-speaking farmers protested what they saw as a threat to their republican liberties and to their churches. The tax revolt raised the specter of class warfare, and Hamilton led the army into the area to put down the revolt. The subsequent trial of Fries gained wide national attention, and Adams pardoned Fries and two others after they were sentenced to be executed for treason. The rebellion, the deployment of the army, and the results of the trials alienated many in Pennsylvania and other states from the Federalist Party, damaging Adams's re-election hopes.
Relations with Spain
The U.S. and Spain had signed the Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795, setting the border between the United States and the Spanish territory of Louisiana. Yet with war between France and the United States looming, Spain was slow to implement the terms of the treaty, which included the Spanish cession of the Yazoo lands and the disarmament of Spanish forts along the Mississippi River. Shortly after Adams took office, Senator William Blount's plans to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana and Florida became public, causing a deterioration in relations between the U.S. and Spain. Francisco de Miranda, a Venezuelan patriot, also attempted to stir up support for an American intervention against Spain, possibly with the help of the British. Rejecting Hamilton's ambitions for the seizure of Spanish territory, Adams refused to meet with Miranda, squashing the plot. Having avoided war with both France and Spain, the Adams administration oversaw the implementation of the Treaty of San Lorenzo.
Election of 1800
Adams had alienated many in his own party with his negotiations with France and his pardon of Fries, but he continued to evoke strong opposition from Democratic-Republicans with his signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts and expansion of the military. Some Federalists hoped to dump Adams for another candidate, possibly for Washington. However, Washington indicated his continued support for Adams, and refused to consider entering the race. Adams's strength within his own party was bolstered by his enduring popularity in New England, a key region for any Federalist presidential victory. Adams and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of South Carolina won the nominations of the Federalist congressional nominating caucus. Hamilton again hoped that the nominal Federalist vice presidential candidate would win enough Southern support to defeat both Adams and Jefferson, but compared to 1796, Hamilton and his supporters took a more active role in trying to undermine Adams, and Hamilton publicly attacked the latter. The Democratic-Republicans, meanwhile, again nominated Vice President Jefferson and Burr. In what was essentially a four-way race among two political parties, Jefferson and Burr each won 73 electoral votes, while Adams won 65 votes and Pinckney 64. Hamilton's lack of support for Adams in his home state of New York proved crucial to Adams's loss, as a victory in the state would have allowed Adams to win re-election. Under the terms of the Constitution then in effect, the electoral vote tie between Burr and Jefferson was broken by a vote of each state delegation in the House. Viewing Burr as a dangerous demagogue, Hamilton used his influence in the House to ensure that Jefferson won the contingent election.
Adams' defeat resulted from 1) the stronger organization of the Democratic-Republicans, 2) Federalist disunity, 3) the controversy of the Alien and Sedition Acts, 4) the popularity of Jefferson in the south and 5) the effective politicking of Aaron Burr in New York, where the legislature shifted from Federalist to Democratic-Republican on the basis of a few wards in New York City controlled by Burr's machine.
Final days in office
Adams had long advocated for the creation of new federal judgeships, but Congress had refused to take up his new proposal. With the victory of Jefferson in the 1800 election, many previously-opposed Federalists came to support Adams's proposal, as expansion of the courts would allow for the appointment of numerous Federalists to life-tenured government positions. The lame-duck session of Congress enacted the Judiciary Act of 1801, which created a set of federal appeals courts between the district courts and the Supreme Court. Adams filled the vacancies created in this statute by appointing a series of judges, whom his opponents called the "Midnight Judges" because most of them were appointed just days before his presidential term expired. Most of these judges would lose their posts when the Jeffersonian Republicans enacted the Judiciary Act of 1802, abolishing the courts created by the Judiciary Act of 1801 and returning the federal courts to their original structure as specified in the Judiciary Act of 1789.
During the same lame duck session of Congress, the position of Chief Justice of the United States became vacant due to the retirement of Oliver Ellsworth. Adams appointed Secretary of State John Marshall to the position, and Marshall would remain on the court until 1835. Marshall's long tenure represents the most lasting influence of the Federalists, as he infused the Constitution with a judicious and carefully reasoned nationalistic interpretation and established the Judicial Branch as the equal of the Executive and Legislative branches. Adams himself called his appointment of John Marshall as Chief Justice "the proudest act of my life." In addition to the lame duck appointment of Marshall, Adams had also previously appointed Alfred Moore and Bushrod Washington to the Supreme Court, and the latter justice served on the court until 1829.
In the closing months of his term Adams became the first president to occupy the new, but unfinished President's Mansion (later known as the White House) in Washington, D.C. beginning November 1, 1800. "I pray Heaven to bestow the best of Blessings on this House and all that shall hereafter inhabit it," Adams wrote on his second night in the mansion. "May none but honest and wise Men ever rule under this roof."
Adams became depressed in the final days of his presidency. His son Charles had recently died from alcoholism, and he was anxious to rejoin his wife Abigail, who had left for Massachusetts. As a result, he did not attend Jefferson's inauguration, departing the White House at 4:00 a.m. that day, and making him one of only four presidents surviving in office not to attend his successor's inauguration. The transition between Adams and Jefferson represented the first peaceful transfer of power in the U.S. history between two different political parties.
Polls of historians and political scientists often rank Adams as an above-average president. Historian George Herring argues that Adams was the most independent-minded of the founders. Though he aligned with the Federalists, he was somewhat a party unto himself, disagreeing with the Federalists as much as he did the Democratic-Republicans. He was often described as "prickly", but his tenacity was fed by good decisions made in the face of universal opposition. Adams was often combative, which diminished presidential decorum, as Adams himself admitted in his old age: "[As president] I refused to suffer in silence. I sighed, sobbed, and groaned, and sometimes screeched and screamed. And I must confess to my shame and sorrow that I sometimes swore." Adams' resolve to advance peace with France, rather than to continue hostilities, especially reduced his popularity. This played an important role in his reelection defeat, however he was so pleased with the outcome that he had it engraved on his tombstone. Historian Ralph Adams Brown argues that, by keeping the United States out of war with France, Adams allowed the fledgling nation to grow and prosper into the transcontinental nation it eventually became in the 19th century.
- "John Adams: Life in Brief". Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Retrieved February 8, 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Ferling, ch. 16.
- Diggins, pp. 83-88
- Brown, pp. 18-19
- Brown, pp. 22-23
- Diggins, pp. 88-90, 92-93
- Diggins, pp. 90-92
- McCullough, p. 471.
- Diggins, pp. 91-92
- Brown, pp. 170-172
- Wood, Gordon S. (2009). Empire of Liberty: A history of the Early Republic, 1789–1815. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199741093.
- Ferling, ch. 17.
- Brown, pp. 36-37
- Herring p. 82.
- Kurtz, ch. 13.
- Miller, ch. 12.
- Diggins, pp. 96-99
- Elkins and Mckitrick, pp. 714–19.
- Diggins, pp. 105-106
- Brown,pp. 22-23
- "John Adams I (Frigate) 1799–1867". USA.gov. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- Diggins, pp. 141-143
- Diggins, pp. 104-105
- Diggins, pp. 106-107
- Diggins, pp. 118-119
- Kurtz. p. 331.
- Brown, pp. 112-113, 162
- Brown, pp. 162-164
- Brown, pp. 165-166
- Diggins, 145-146
- Brown, pp. 173-174
- Ferling, ch. 18.
- Diggins, pp. 110-113
- Chernow, p. 668.
- Diggins, pp. 115-117
- Elkins and McKitrick, pp. 696–700.
- Diggins, pp. 129-137
- Brown, pp. 138-148
- Brown, pp. 176-177
- Brown, pp. 177-185
- Diggins, pp. 147-150
- Ferling, ch. 19.
- Ferling, ch. 19,
- Brown, pp. 1980200
- Brown, pp. 200-201
- Unger, Harlow Giles (November 16, 2014). "Why Naming John Marshall Chief Justice Was John Adams's "Greatest Gift" to the Nation". History News Network. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- "President John Adams moves into a tavern in Washington, D.C.". History.com. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "Overview of the White House". White House Museum. Retrieved July 16, 2008.
- Friedel, Frank; Sidey, Hugh. "The Presidents of the United States of America". White House. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- Diggins, pp. 158-159
- Herring, p. 89.
- Chernow, p. 647.
- Ellis, p. 57.
- Herring, p. 90.
- Herring, p. 91.
- Brown, pp. 214-215
- Brown, Ralph (1975). The Presidency of John Adams. University Press of Kansas.
- Chernow, Ron (2004). Alexander Hamilton. Penguin Press. ISBN 1594200092.
- Diggins, John Patrick (2003). John Adams. Times Books.
- Elkins, Stanley M.; McKitrick, Eric (1993). The Age of Federalism. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195068904.
- Ellis, Joseph J. (1993). Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0393311333.
- Ferling, John (1992). John Adams: A Life. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 0-87049-730-8. [ebook]
- Herring, George C. (2008). From colony to superpower: U.S. foreign relations since 1776. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199743770.
- Kurtz, Stephen G (1957). The Presidency of John Adams: The Collapse of Federalism, 1795–1800.
- McCullough, David (2008). John Adams. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-7588-7.
- Miller, John C. (1960). The Federalist Era: 1789–1801.
- Adams, John; Adams, Charles Francis (1851). The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: Autobiography, continued. Diary. Essays and controversial papers of the Revolution. The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States. 3. Little, Brown.
- Butterfield, L. H. et al., eds., The Adams Papers (1961– ). Multivolume letterpress edition of all letters to and from major members of the Adams family, plus their diaries; still incomplete. "The Adams Family Papers Editorial Project". Masshist.org. Retrieved March 2, 2010.
- Butterfield, L. H., ed. Adams Family Correspondence. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
- Cappon, Lester J., ed. (1988). The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams. The University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0807842303.
- Carey, George W., ed. The Political Writings of John Adams. (2001)
- Hogan, Margaret and C. James Taylor, eds. My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.
- Richardson, James D. ed. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1897), reprints his major messages and reports.
- Taylor, Robert J. et al., eds. Papers of John Adams. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
- Wroth, L. Kinvin and Hiller B. Zobel, eds. The Legal Papers of John Adams. Cambridge: Harvard University Press
- Akers, Charles W. "John Adams" in Henry Graff, ed. The Presidents: A Reference History (3rd ed. 2002) online
- Brinkley, Alan, and Davis Dyer, eds. (2004)The American Presidency. Boston: Houghton Mifflin company,
- Chinard, Gilbert. (1933), Honest John Adams.
- Freeman, Joanne B. Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic. (2001)
- Grant, James. John Adams: Party of One.(2005)
- Haraszti, Zoltan. (1952), John Adams and the Prophets of Progress. Incisive analysis of John Adams' political comments on numerous authors through examining his marginalia in his copies of their books.
- Howe, John R., Jr. (1966), The Changing Political Thought of John Adams
- Sharp, James Roger. (1995) American Politics in the Early Republic: The New Nation in Crisis.; politics of 1790s
- Visser, Michiel (2008). "Adams, John (1735–1826)". In Hamowy, Ronald. The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE; Cato Institute. pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n4.
- Waldstreicher, David, ed. 2013), A Companion to John Adams and John Quincy Adams
- White, Leonard D. (1956), The Federalists: A Study in Administrative History
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- William Everdell, From State to Free-State: The Meaning of the Word Republic from Jean Bodin to John Adams By William R. Everdell
- John Adams: A Resource Guide at the Library of Congress
- John Adams at the White House
- The John Adams Library at the Boston Public Library
- Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive at the Massachusetts Historical Society
- The Adams Papers, subset of Founders Online from the National Archives
- John Adams Papers at the Avalon Project
- Works by John Adams at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Presidency of John Adams at Internet Archive
- "Life Portrait of John Adams", from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits, March 22, 1999
|U.S. Presidential Administrations|
|J. Adams Presidency