The Key to John Adams’ Political Principles

By |2019-07-03T14:44:00-05:00August 25th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, John Adams, Liberty, Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Politics|

As a political writer, John Adams is most remembered today for the constitutional prescriptions by which he helped to solidify the American Revolution. His Thoughts on Government was widely circulated in 1776 and helped hasten and shape the formation of independent states out of former British colonies. His Report of a Constitution... for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts [...]

Finding the Real John Adams: An Interview with Gordon Wood

By |2020-07-11T17:09:56-05:00May 13th, 2016|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Books, Featured, John Adams|

John Adams never had an optimistic view of human nature, and his experience in the Congress and abroad only deepened his suspicion that his fellow Americans might not have the character to sustain a republican government. As early as 1776, he expressed his doubts about America’s capacity for virtue. This spring, Library of America [...]

Thoughts on Government

By |2016-01-14T12:32:38-06:00January 14th, 2016|Categories: Government, John Adams, Politics, Virtue|

Editor’s Note: On the fourteenth day of January, 1784, the Revolutionary War ended as the United States ratified the Treaty of Paris with England. In honor of this event, let us examine John Adams’ vision of republican government. In 1776, Adams, then a member of the Continental Congress, penned his thoughts on how an American colony might construct a [...]

The Conservatism of John Quincy Adams

By |2016-11-12T04:20:20-06:00December 6th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, Conservatism, Featured, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind|

In The Conservative Mind, John Quincy Adams appears as a flawed, failed conservative. Though he “felt the pressing necessity for conservative principle in the conduct of American affairs,” Adams “never quite discovered how to fix upon it.” This is a serious judgment, given how much of Adams’ life and attention was dedicated to conducting [...]

The Ravishing Rays of the Glory of Independence

By |2019-06-27T11:11:12-05:00October 30th, 2015|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Declaration of Independence, Featured, John Adams|

Yesterday, the greatest question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was nor will be decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, and as such they have, and of [...]

John Adams, Whig

By |2020-04-21T09:12:52-05:00August 14th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bradley J. Birzer, John Adams|

Poor John Adams. He will almost always stand in the shadows of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He will always be remembered first and foremost as a dumpy bulldog, a failed president, and the husband of Abigail Adams. And yet…and yet…there was a true and uncommon genius about the man. David McCulloch did much [...]

John Adams and the Spirit of America

By |2016-10-30T08:06:07-05:00May 4th, 2014|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, John Adams|Tags: |

    John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty, by C. Bradley Thompson, Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1998. John Adams (1735-1826) was the most traditionalist of the American Founders and arguably the finest scholar among them. Perhaps because of this traditionalism, his immense contribution to the Founding goes largely unrecognized today. Although most [...]

On Statesmanship: The Case of John Adams

By |2020-04-21T08:38:45-05:00July 20th, 2012|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Bruce Frohnen, John Adams, Statesman|Tags: |

John Adams was a true statesman, committed to republican principles, conducting himself in a virtuous manner that served the public good. Without him, it is entirely possible that there would be no United States of America. What kind of person is worthy of being called a “statesman”? What type of character, what accomplishments, what [...]

American Founding — John Adams (Part 2)

By |2019-05-02T12:54:41-05:00July 4th, 2011|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Gleaves Whitney, John Adams, Leadership|

John Adams has finally gotten the fame he craved, but it was a long time coming over a rough road. Already as a young man he tortured himself thinking about a future without fame. Historians don’t need to speculate on this point because he and his wife Abigail seemed to write down everything. Because of the thousands [...]

American Founding–John Adams

By |2019-05-02T12:27:40-05:00July 4th, 2011|Categories: American Founding, American Republic, Film, Gleaves Whitney, John Adams, Leadership|

Once Forgotten Founding Father and Philosopher President Makes a Comeback…. Why? Ten years ago, David McCullough told audiences something that still has the capacity to surprise us. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author said that he initially intended to write a joint biography of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. At first his concern was that Adams could not hold his own [...]

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