John Adams

Independence – Word of the Day

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Eurasian Coot, Big Swamp, Bunbury. Alone again, naturally. This one had set a course for herself, away from the others.

The stories of other nations and communities are always interesting to me, how they evolved and what are some of the key historical points that have become the DNA of the nation, and who are some the characters in nation building.

It is July 4th, the celebration for Americans of their independence from Britain. One of the things that always intrigues me, is the story within the story. Eventual political independence came as a result of independent people. One such person was John Adams (1735 – 1826).

Britannica.com describes Adams and his wife Abigail as fiercely independent. Adams was an early advocate for independence. His father had hoped he’s follow in his shoes as a church minister. Adams trained with that in view, but on graduation from Harvard spent three years teaching at a grammar school. He eventually determined to do law, and set up practice in Boston. It was while in Boston that his independence came to public prominence. Eight British soldiers had fired on a crowd in Boston – the Boston Massacre -and were on trial for murder. John Adams decided to defend them. He believed that they had the right to legal representation (and for a fee no doubt), and his view was that the soldiers had been provoked. While it was an unpopular thing to do it showed that Adams was a principled person, and it also showed that Adams was one who could think and act independently.

In 1765 Adams wrote a dissertation against the Stamp Act, He went on to oppose the Townsend Act (import duty). In 1774 he was elected to the delegation to represent Massachusetts at the First Continental Congress. In 1775 he published his “Novanglus” essays arguing that Britain had no right to legislate for the colony. He attended the Second Continental Congress in 1776, and was nicknamed “The Atlas of independence” surely an irony? He dominated debate and made crucial nominations – George Washington as comander of the Continental Army; and Thomas Jefferson to draft the Declaration of Independence. His list of achievements is long, and include a term as ambassador in both France and England, two terms as Vice President, and one term as President. While his political philosophy is much debated and some of his views unpopular, Adams has been hailed as a patriot and revolutionary who spurred a colony to nationhood.

No matter what you think of him, you can’t deny that he was indeed and independent thinker and activist who worked for the nation’s own independence. Perhaps in that light we might say that America’s independence is an outworking of the independent-mindedness of its founders, especially John Adams. I note though, that Adams was not a one-man-band, he ably delegated, deffered, and encouraged others to do their bit, not wanting to hog the limelight, but rather to share it. Independence doesn’t mean solo, or maverick, though it doesn’t exclude those labels those labels are not the principal defining behaviours, it means appropriate dependence and independence in synergy. A bit like co-dependency is not all bad, we all have a positive level of dependence and co-dependece in our lives, if we didn’t we’d have sterile relationships and bland communities and not a lot would get done. We also need a positive level of independence in our lives too, without it we are not an identity, just a name, alone. I like to think I have a bit of John Adams in me, an independent thinker and activist, but also one who can function in and for community. I hope you do to.

many fine new branches
a multitude of blossom
the trunk is solid

©Paul Cannon

Paul,

pvcann.com

30 Comments

Filed under community, Haiku, history, life, mindfulness, politics, self-development

30 responses to “John Adams

  1. Well said..symbiosis at its best.

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  2. Have a great Fourth, PV!!

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  3. “I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States.—Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory.” – John Adams

    “After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pour over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!”
    -Donald Trump

    Liked by 1 person

  4. lol then please note that Adams left preaching to enter the public political arena … are you about to follow his lead? lol just joking but we do need more good men in their making some worthy decisions … and why aren’t we independent of British rule yet …. 😦

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  5. MNL

    They were an interesting couple. Abigail Adams was very ahead of her times. She wrote to him that while he worked on the constitution to include women’s rights and their vote (which they did not get until 150 years. later)

    http://www.americanyawp.com/reader/the-american-revolution/abigail-and-john-adams-converse-on-womens-rights-1776/

    he replied basically that youths, apprentices, native americans and blacks grow insolent, talking back to their masters — that they want rights too and so he was surprised there was a bigger group also waiting for their rights. As it turns out he was prescient. Youths, apprentices, native americans and blacks did want their rights and the right to vote. In the US, the 60s rebellion was partly about having to go to war at 18 when they couldn’t even vote until they were 21 so voting age was eventually changed to 18. Native Americans and Blacks have had movements to gain rights. The women’s movement followed close behind.

    he wrote more seriously to a friend about what his wife suggested. he wanted educated people to vote. At that time, education was expensive. Families with a good bit of money educated their sons with tutors or sending them to school. Books were very expensive. Generally women and groups that were impoverished were not educated in history and literature although they were taught other skills. Of course there were some families that educated their daughters and individuals in impoverished groups somtimes found tutors but they were the exceptions. I don’t think Adams could have forseen a time when education became more available nationwide to everyone, even if some places there are differences in quality.

    I wonder what Adams would have thought of a president who tweets his news.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lync56

    Excellent article – I didn’t know this – yes I think you definitely have this trait xx

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do and many others do as well!

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