John Adams

Posted: 3rd December 2009 by Scott @ The Right of a Nation in History
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John Adams

John Adams

Anyone who has not seen the John Adams HBO Miniseries or read the John Adams biography by David McCullough needs to as soon as they can.  I’m sure you can get both/either of them for a good price at somewhere like Amazon.

Reading the John Adams biography really takes you to another time in America and shows a stark contrast between the leaders of our country at that time and what we have now.  The founding fathers were not politicians in the sense of today’s definition.  They were men who knew that we needed our own country and truly believed in the principles of freedom that they based our country on.

The level of sacrifice that Adams and men like him made for our country is in no way comparable to our politicians of today, in fact, it is more comparable to members of the military.  For example, the founders of our country often had to flee their meeting places in America during the war when British troops neared because if they were caught they very well could have been tried for treason against the British government and hanged.  Our first president, George Washington, played a very active role in the Revolution as a General.

When Adams was first sent overseas to be a diplomat for his country, his ship was attacked and they had to fight off the British in order to survive.  This is on top of the fact that a trip across the Atlantic at that time alone could have been a death sentence.  At that time, when you left your homeland and family, you truly left.  Your family was not a phone call or email away.  John and Abigail Adams wrote letters to each other as their only means of communication, and these took weeks and months to arrive, if they were lost at sea or stolen/destroyed when ships were captured by the British.  At one point the Adamses were apart for close to 10 years.

To me this brings up the interesting question of what makes someone a “good man.”  If you look at John Adams from a historical point of view, he obviously is a great man who made great sacrifices in order to do great things for his country.  But in doing so, he was forced to leave his wife to survive through harsh winters during food rations and he practically missed out on entire portions of some of his childrens’ lives.  To a normal man, taking care of your wife and children are huge factors in what makes you a good man.  When you look at men of great historical importance like Adams, you see this interesting dichotomy of the sacrifices that he had to make on his family side of life in order to better the lives of millions of people in the future.

Overall, reading about the life of John Adams and the other founding fathers is very inspiring.  It is good to look back at the sacrifices that people made to give us the country that we have now and it is good to refresh our memories with the vision that they had for our country.  It is, however, depressing to look at the character of the men that founded this country in comparison to the people that we have running it now.

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