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John Adams was the second President of the United States. He served as President from 1797 to 1801. John Adams was born in Braintree, Ma. on October 30, 1735. He belonged to the Federalist Party. His Vice President was Thomas Jefferson, and his First Lady was Abigal Smith Adams. He was the only president to be the father of another president.
The most critical problem facing John Adams when he took office involved French raids on American shipping. U.S. neutrality in the war between Britain and France had led to a boom in trade. Both nations badly needed supplies from the United States, but neither wanted the other to receive any US goods.
In 1794, the United States signed Jay's Treaty with Great Britain. In retaliation, the French government began encouraging pirates to attack ships headed for Great Britain. As the number of seized merchant ships soared, the American public demanded war. President Adams held back, instead of fighting, he sent three diplomats to negotiate with the French.
Before, the French would even listen to the Americans, they demanded a bribe of $250,000.00. This demand outraged Adams, who had long been famous for strictly following the law. Still, Adams would not declare war. Instead, Adams convinced Congress to stop U.S. Trade with France.
Although Adams was widely popular during the Quasi War, he lost much of that popularity during the last year of his term. People thought his government was too isolated and that it ignored their wishes. The Federalists, too, turned against Adams because he refused to declare war on France.
The Campaign of 1800 was a replay of the 1796 election between Adams and Jefferson. Although neither candidate made public appearances or statements, the contest was a bitter one. When the electoral collegs met, Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received seventy-three votes, defeating the Federalist ticket of John Adams and Charles Pinckney.