Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Greatness of John Adams

                    John Adams was a great man in many different ways and for a long period of time.  He was a lawyer, statesman, diplomat, and politician.  In the early days of the American Revolution he became one of the most prominent of our Founding Fathers and a leading champion of independence. 

Adams was a Massachusetts delegate to the Continental Congress and played a main role in persuading Congress to declare independence.  He assisted Thomas Jefferson in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.  He was a diplomat in Europe and was a major negotiator of the peace treaty with Great Britain.  He was also mainly responsible for obtaining loans for the Colonists from Amsterdam bankers. 

                    John was the main writer of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which ended slavery in Massachusetts; however, he was in Europe when the US Constitution was drafted.  He was a good judge of character: in 1775 he nominated George Washington to be the commander-in-chief of the American armed forces and nominated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States 25 years later.

                    Adams served as Vice President while George Washington served two terms as President; he served one term as President and was defeated in his second election by Thomas Jefferson.   Adams built up the army and navy as a result of the Quasi-War (undeclared war) with France, 1798-1800. 

                    President Adams and his wife Abigail retired to Massachusetts and founded an accomplished family of politicians, diplomats and historians.  He resumed his friendship with Jefferson, and they both passed away on July 4, 1826.  The following Adams quotes show the kind of man he was. 

                   "A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man."

                    "A government of laws, and not of men."

                    "Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society."

                    "All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."

                    "As much as I converse with sages and heroes, they have very little of my love and admiration.  I long for rural and domestic scene, for the warbling of birds and the prattling of my children."

                    "Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases."

                    "Democracy … while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy.  Remember, democracy never lasts long.  It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.  There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."

                    "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

                    "I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

                    "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy."

                    "Liberty cannot be preserved without general knowledge among the people."


No comments:

Post a Comment