of John Adams, released in 2007That problem ended with the , in which the French demanded huge bribes before any discussions could begin. Before this event, Americans mostly supported France, but after the event, most opposed France. The Jeffersonians, who were friends to France, were embarrassed and quickly became the minority as Americans began to demand full scale war. Adams and his advisers knew that America would be unable to win such a conflict, as France at the time was successfully fighting much of Europe. Instead, Adams pursued a strategy whereby American ships would harass French ships in an effort to stop the French assaults on American interests. This was the undeclared naval war between the U.S. and France, called the , which broke out in 1798. There was danger of invasion from the much larger and more powerful French forces, so Adams and the Federalist congress built up the , bringing back Washington at its head. Washington wanted Hamilton to be his second-in-command and, given Washington's fame, Adams reluctantly gave in.] Given Washington's age, as everyone knew, Hamilton was truly in charge. Adams rebuilt the Navy, adding , most notably the . To pay for the new Army and Navy, Congress imposed new taxes on property: the Direct Tax of 1798.] It was the first (and last) such federal tax. Taxpayers were angry, nowhere more so than in southeast Pennsylvania, where the bloodless broke out among rural German-speaking farmers who protested what they saw as a threat to their republican liberties and to their churches.]
On July 4, 1826, the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Adams died at his home in Quincy. Told that it was the Fourth, he answered clearly, "It is a great day. It is a day." His last words have been reported as "Thomas Jefferson survives" (Jefferson himself, however, had died hours before Adams did). His death left as the last surviving signatory of the Declaration of Independence. John Adams died while his son was president.]
John Adams was born on October 30, 1735 in Quincy, Massachusetts.
In early 1812, Adams reconciled with Jefferson. Their mutual friend , a fellow signer of the who had been corresponding with both, encouraged each man to reach out to the other. On New Year's Day 1812, Adams sent a brief, friendly note to Jefferson to accompany the delivery of "two pieces of homespun," a two-volume collection of lectures on rhetoric by. Jefferson replied immediately with a warm, friendly letter, and the two men revived their friendship, which they conducted by mail. The correspondence that they resumed in 1812 lasted the rest of their lives, and thereafter has been hailed as one of their greatest legacies and a monument of American literature.]John Adams was nearly 89 when, at the request of his son, John Quincy Adams, he posed a final time for (1823).Their letters are rich in insight into both the period and the minds of the two Presidents and revolutionary leaders. Their correspondence lasted fourteen years, and consisted of 158 letters.] It was in these years that the two men discussed "natural aristocracy." Jefferson said, "The natural aristocracy I consider as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction, the trusts, and government of society. And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of society. May we not even say that the form of government is best which provides most effectually for a pure selection of these natural aristoi into the offices of government?"] Adams wondered if it ever would be so clear who these people were, "Your distinction between natural and artificial aristocracy does not appear to me well founded. Birth and wealth are conferred on some men as imperiously by nature, as genius, strength, or beauty. . . . When aristocracies are established by human laws and honour, wealth, and power are made hereditary by municipal laws and political institutions, then I acknowledge artificial aristocracy to commence."] It would always be true, Adams argued, that fate would bestow influence on some men for reasons other than true wisdom and virtue. That being the way of nature, he thought such "talents" were natural. A good government, therefore, had to account for that reality.