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  • Typical Adams (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Whammo (2555) on 2003.03.18 20:15 (#18062) Homepage Journal

    John Adams, much to the dismay of his peers (not to mention -10 or so to his karma), volunteered to represent the British soldiers indicted for murder [in connection with the Boston Massacre] simply because he felt they deserved legal representation.

    In truth, Adams was a bit of an enigma. Before the American Revolution, he was a strong critic of the British, even turning down an attorney position within the Court of Admiralty. But post-revolution, he was obsessed with the trappings of British-style rule. Brilliant and classically trained, his history of self-government was a major resource at the constitution conventions for the establishment of an apolitical framework. But then, during his presidency, his political machinations gone awry were largely responsible for the passage of the Alien and Sedition Act, which only managed to not set American government back fifty years only because it hadn't been around that long. He felt that the system was larger than any one man, yet believed the presidency was his by right - irritated that Washington was elected first, and infuriated that he actually had to run against Jefferson.

    • His peers didn't think that everyone deserved legal representation? :-)

      Great capsule summary of him. Did you study history? Can you recommend a (readable) biography of Adams?


      • John Adams by David McCullogh. EXCELLENT book. All his others are great as well. I've read 4 (John Adams, The Great Bridge, Path Between the Seas, and The Johnstown Flood). ISBN 0-7432-2313-6. Did you guess it's sitting on the shelf a few feet from me. :-)
        "Perl users are the Greatful Dead fans of computer science." --slashdot comment
      • Did you study history? Can you recommend a (readable) biography of Adams?

        "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it in summer school." I'm, at best, a pragmatic student of history, but have seriously considered enrolling in some college history courses in an attempt to learn more of the "how" of historical research. (History classes up through high school are practically useless, and probably do more harm than good.)

        By "pragmatic", I mean that I study history solely in the context of how it a