John Adams (1735-1826) was a leader of the American Revolution and served as the second U.S. president from 1797 to 1801. The Massachusetts-born, Harvard-educated Adams began his career as a lawyer. Intelligent, patriotic, opinionated and blunt, Adams became a critic of Great Britain’s authority in colonial America and viewed the British imposition of high taxes and tariffs as a tool of oppression.
During the 1770s, he was a delegate to the Continental Congress. In the 1780s, Adams served as a diplomat in Europe and helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris (1783), which officially ended the American Revolutionary War (1775-83). From 1789 to 1797, Adams was America’s first vice president. He then served a term as the nation’s second president.
He was defeated for another term by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).