John Adams - Mrs. Bounds' Class


1797 – 1801

John Adams

2 nd



Vice Presidents:

Thomas Jefferson

(Democratic Republican)

John Adams

1. John Adams died on July 4 th


TRUE! This day was the 50th anniversary of the

Declaration of Independence for which Adams was largely responsible

2. John Adams had 9 kids

1. MYTH! He had 6

3. Abigail and John wrote hundreds of letters to each other during their marriage

1. TRUE! They wrote letters to each other while he was away serving the country and he often consulted her opinion on the most serious of issues.

Personal Life

• 1735-1826

• Family –

– Wife Abigail Adams

“Remember the Ladies”

– Four children including John

Quincy Adams who became the

6 th president.

• Career – Lawyer and Diplomat

Election of 1796



John Adams

Received 71 electoral college votes

Thomas Jefferson

Received 68 electoral

The Constitution stated that whichever candidate received the most electoral votes became the PRESIDENT and the runner-up became the VICE-PRESIDENT

The country had a FEDERALIST President and a


Significant Events

Important Events

Election of 1800

In the election of 1800, the Republican candidates were Thomas

Jefferson and Aaron Burr, the Federalist was John Adams. There were not separate ballots for President and Vice President though. When all of the electoral votes were counted, it was a tie between Jefferson and Burr. In case of a tie, the decision goes to the House of Representatives. After four days, the House chose

Jefferson as President and Burr as Vice President.

This incident lead to the passage of the 12th Amendment, which says that the electors must vote for the President and Vice

President separately. Since then, power has transferred peacefully during each election.

The Federalist party began to fade away, and lost much of its power after its leader, Alexander Hamilton, was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.

What kind of problems might occur with a

Federalist president and a

Democratic Republican vice-president?

Social & Domestic

Economic Policies

Alien and Sedition Act


– Immigrants had to wait 14 years to become citizens (previously 5)

– Immigrants could be expelled for making trouble

– Kept immigrants from voting (immigrants typically supported Democratic Republicans)


– People could be fined or jailed for criticizing elected officials

– Violated 1 st Amendment

– Sedition – activities aimed at weakening established government

1. Why was the government keeping close watch on immigrants?

2. What amendment in the Bill of Rights allows people to criticize our government?

4. Which Amendments did

Adams violate?

What was one positive thing

Adams prevented in the XYZ affair?

5. What was his political party?

8. Which of the following is a quote of a

Federalist? -


“I’m for the little guy.”


“I believe in a strict interpretation of the



“I am a supporter of the National Bank.”


“I feel that the rich and educated and poor should be able to rule.”

Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and 1799

• Written by Madison and Jefferson

• Declared the Alien and Sedition Act


• Declared that states had the right to nullify or

cancel federal law within a state.

• Showed that Americans feared strong central government that could interfere with their rights

• This issue over STATE’S RIGHTS would continue until the Civil War.

3 Why did some states feel they should have more power than the central government? Why would this cause problems?



 Federalists supported Britain over France in a European conflict.

 French Privateers start to impress American sailors.

XYZ Affair

• To prevent war with France, Adams sent delegates to negotiate with them.

• The French minister refused to meet with the delegates.

• The French diplomats XYZ offered to stop and Bribed Americans

• U.S. answered by saying “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.”




• Americans were angry over the

XYZ Affair.

• U.S. remained neutral, but

Congress strengthen armed forces.

• The U.S. began to seize French ships.


• Federalists (led by Hamilton) wanted

Adam’s administration to declare war with France, ADAMS REFUSED

– the refusal caused the Federalist Party to split in half

• In 1800, French sign a treaty promising peace.