Johns Letter P.
There are many famous people in history.Those people were all different who made a change in either a positive or negative way.John and Abigail Adams could be considered two of the most influential people in American history.Not only did they accomplish so much, but their approach to solving problems, was done with grace and knowledge.Each individually was remarkable and made a difference in their own way.Together, their letters, words of wisdom, books, and actions made them respected and honored. Both Abigail and John Adams worked together to make an influential impact on American history.
I Who were Abigail and John Adams?
Abigail Smith was born November 22, 1744,in Massachusetts to a family of high expectations.Little did she know she too would have high expectations as well and be a historical feminist who was “one of the first Americans to understand the Revolution's implications for women” (Maier, New York Times).Due to this her accomplishments some may argue, outweigh her husband’s.She was extremely remarkable for her time, “she was a humanitarian, activist, and leader with an acute sense of both America's successes and failures” (Mount Vernon Library)She strongly “argued that girls should be better educated than in the colonial past” (Maier, New York Times).Also she believed that African Americans should be emancipated from slavery.When she met her husband, to her surprise, their letters back and forth to each other would become famous and influential to American politics for centuries.Her outstanding and intelligent ideas, John would admire so much so that he relied on her for political guidance which was unheard of at the time.
John Adams was born October 30, 1735, and he died on July 4, 1826.In his 91 years he had a lot of success in his life, politics, family and career but, John being a humble man, didn't boast about his successes.Once he took some credit, “[I] have the pleasure to think I have had some success.” -John (First Letter after “Familiar Letters… heading) He was born to John Adams Sr. and Susanna Boylston in Braintree MA. John graduated from Harvard with a Law degree and made it to the Massachusetts bar.A little while after, he started a practice in Braintree MA, becoming a full time lawyer.Later on he was introduced to a woman named Abigail Smith, who was a young girl with no formal education.The two eventually got married and raised a family.
Later in his career he had the honor of drafting the Constitution along with, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.During this time he became close acquaintances with Jefferson and the two sent many letters back and forth.Also after the battle at Lexington and Concord, Adams became part of the Continental Congress.
John and Abigail Adams met in 1759,and did not think fondly of each other, in John's journal he wrote, “not fond, not frank, not candid” (page 3).But after that, they met another time and began to like each other and later got married, “their names are as inseparably linked as those of any human pair in history, or for that matter in legend or literature” (page 3)
II How did Abigail and John Adams influence each other's views?
Abigail was brought up with different views.Her mother “encouraged her to adopt the traditional female virtues of the day,”this meant doing housework and tending to the needs of her family. (13)On the other hand, Abigail's “father and grandmother encouraged her instincts to be opinionated.” (13).Abigail's actions later in life reflected she favored her her father and grandmother values, but “lived a life like her mother and most women being primarily a wife and a mother who focused on the household.”(17)Due to John’s stressful life, Abigail had to be the one to keep him calm and sane, and “as it turned out it came naturally to Abigail,”since she was influenced by the way she was raised.(12)
John took after Abigail’s values and cherished her routines and practices.This showed that John was truly amazed and influenced by Abigail's actions and values.With Abigail taking the household chores, John took the other work of bills, finances and field work.He and Abigail were truly a team when they worked together.
III What is the importance of Abigail and John Adams’ relationship?
Together, Abigail and John were remarkable.They both helped each other and loved each other day in and day out.The fact that it was unheard of for women to do “man’s work,” made Abigail a revolutionist. She defied stereotypes and made a life for herself where she could speak her ideas and people would listen. John encouraged her to do her own things and thinking and in addition, took her advice and wisdom to use for his decision making.On his own, John made a huge impact on American politics.
IV Why is it important that John and Abigail made such a big difference in American history?
In the many years of their marriage, they were devoted to each other and loved each other to no end.Their letters, addressed with “My Dearest Friend” showed their loyalty and respect for each other.The term “My Dearest Friend,” also is“most powerfully the history of a marriage”(New York Times, Maier).Their mutual bond and respect for each other goes to show that they were more than political figures, they were remarkable humans that happen to make a change for society.
V Together how did both Abigail and John contribute to govern the United States?
As first lady and president, John and Abigail were a beloved couple of the American Revolution.They “formed the best-known husband and wife partnership in American history.” (Introduction xiii)One of John’s major accomplishments was his co-writing the Declaration of Independence.During the time of writing Abigail influenced the ideas that he contributed to the document which is another way they worked together. Even as the date of Independence approached, John knew and told Abigail in a letter, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.” (Johns Letter p. 2) He was proud to play an important role in the history of America. Also he stated that the day of independence “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival,” (Johns Letter p. 3)
VI Through their daily letters, how did John and Abigail show their devotion and love for each other?
What is most remarkable about John and Abigail was their devotion to each other even when they were far apart.They “ were destined to become the most famous and consequential couple in the revolutionary era.”(Ellis, 3) Their 54 years of marriage shows that they loved each other and were very devoted to each other.But upon first meeting each other, they did not like each other, John was 23 and Abigail was 14.Abigail was a humble and modest person, she asked John, “tell me all my faults, both of omission and commision, and all the evil you either know or think of me.”(page 6)
Their letters were the lifeline of their relationship.Not only were the letters filled with their love for each other but they were also with incredible wisdom from both sides.Abigail in particular wrote her many thoughts and ideas for John’s governing which were beyond her time.Her most famous letter was right before John left for Pennsylvania to sign the Declaration and it included her most famous words, “I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors.” (page 2) This statement from Abigail is evidence of her remarkable idea of a great society.It also shows her knowledge of the importance of women's rights and made her a prominent figure for the 18th century.She also writes, “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands” ( page 2).Her statement shows her knowledge of the power men had in society and her attempt to change it because she goes on to say, “all Men would be tyrants if they could,” (p.2)
When John left home to go to Philadelphia to work on the Constitution, their time apart was lengthy but they communicated through letters. Not only did John miss Abigail but of course his children too. (p.48) Abigail wrote in one letter, “Our Little ones send duty to pappa and want much to see him.” (p.48)It was hard for Abigail when John was gone at the Continental Congress to take care of herself and the kids.She missed John deeply and when “word reached her that John had been selected to replace Silas Deane as a member of the American diplomatic delegation in Paris,”“she had be crying for a month.”(p.67) This was because he would be gone for more time, time that she wanted him to spend with the family.
VII How did John and Abigail Adams influence each other to become the powerful people that they were?
According to 18th century standards women were not equal to men, they were in fact below men and men had full power over them.In the Adams family this was not the case. Abigail's ideas and philosophies were respected, honored and used by John.John admired his wife for her intelligence and her ideas, so much so that he relied on her for political guidance which was unheard of at the time.He reached out to her when he needed help and he looked to her for constant assistance.When John was away Abigail managed all the tasks and duties that “a man would do.”She was independent and made sure everything was under control. This is how the two worked together and made change.
VIII How did both Abigail and John rise to power by influencing each other?
Out of John’s many accomplishments, in 1776, John published his book, Thoughts on Government which consisted of ways to govern that were influenced by past Enlightenment thinkers. The powerful and influential ideas consisted of “creating three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial.” (48)John also felt that seperation of power between government positions was important. (48-49).
Abigail was ahead of her time, in terms of intelligence, but more importantly her ideas about women's rights together with John’s philosophies on governmentmade them “ be a couple centuries ahead of [their] time,” (50).
People can do great things on their own, but when two people are simultaneously working together, amazing things can happen--and they did with John and Abigail.Theymade history, not because they were the second, first family, but because they worked together and made change each on their own values and ideas.The people in history who are remembered the most are the ones who made a difference with the intention of it benefiting the greater good.Those people were not just in it for the fame and glory because those who truly made a difference were often humble of their status and power.John and Abigail Adams are two of the most powerful, influential, and remarkable people in American history.They were each individually outstanding but together they made a significantimpact of American society.