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Biographies Unit Biographies

John Adams 1735–1826
Second President of the United States

John Adams fought for freedom and justice throughout his life. Adams was born in Massachusetts. As a young man, he was passionate about learning. Adams went to school to become a lawyer. He cared deeply about colonists' rights.

Adams was a major force during the critical times of the American Revolution. He went to both the First and Second Continental Congresses. These congresses met to fight English laws they felt were unfair. They decided to declare their independence from England. In 1776, Adams helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration said that the colonies were free from English rule. Adams also wrote many essays, letters, and newspaper articles about government and the importance of justice and liberty to a free nation.

John Adams was elected as the second President of the United States in 1796. He continued to write about government for the rest of his life. He died on July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Comprehension Check

Why did John Adams want America to be independent from England?

Critical Thinking

How might reading and studying have helped John Adams in his career?