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The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams presents the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States. Though one of the principal framers of the American republic and the successor to Washington as president, John Adams receives remarkably little attention among many students of the early national period. This is especially true in the case of the periods before and after the Revolution, in which the intellectual rationale for independence and republican government was given the fullest expression.
The Revolutionary Writings of John Adams presents the principal shorter writings in which Adams addresses the prospect of revolution and the form of government proper to the new United States. This collection illustrates that it was Adams who, before the Revolution wrote some of the most important documents on the nature of the British Constitution and the meaning of rights, sovereignty, representation, and obligation.
.".. includes the complete newspaper exchange between Novanglus (Adams) and Massachusettensis (loyalist Daniel Leonard), as well as extensive diary excerpts and characteristically frank personal letters"--Jacket.
In reexamining John Adams's political thought, Thompson reconstructs the contours and influences of Adams's mental universe, the ideas he challenged, the problems he considered central to constitution-making, and methods of his reasoning.
John Adams could be, and was on occasion, cantankerous, stubborn, tactless, even rude. He was also prone to vanity and self-pity, and sensitive to what he perceived as slights, or attacks on his reputation or character. He also had a lust for fame, as did many involved in the founding of this nation. But if fame was the spur, it was also the driving force be-hind Adams' enormous energy, energy guided by a strong sense of honor and duty that was built into his character and stayed with him his whole life. Adams was a realist, with a profound sense of what people en masse are all about. He seems to have drawn that knowledge from his understanding of himself. He knew that each of us has the capacity for good or evil, and the gov-ernment of checks and balances he envisioned for the new nation they were building took this into account. Victory in the long struggle for freedom was certainly not assured. Many were Tories who wished to continue as British subjects. Many cared, but not enough to fight for the cause. We can be thankful for those who did, who initiated and carried on the War for In-dependence. Among them were the best and brightest the colonies had to offer. These were the people who tendered their lives, property, and sacred honor as collateral in the struggle for freedom. We can be grateful that John Adams was among them.
The fundamental article of my political creed, declared John Adams, is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical. The consequences of this article for Adams' thought are nowhere better articulated than in this anthology, which presents his remarkable attempts at constructing a complete political system based on constitutional, balanced, representative government.
Adams is remembered for the many letters she wrote to her husband while he stayed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, during the Continental Congresses. John frequently sought the advice of Abigail on many matters, and their letters are filled with intellectual discussions on government and politics. The letters serve as eyewitness accounts of the American Revolutionary War home front.

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