John Adams was an American founding father and the second President of the United States. He is remembered for being a major figure in both the American Revolution and early nationhood, as well as for his key role in forming strong diplomatic ties between America and Europe during his tenure as ambassador to France and Britain. His career began with service in Massachusetts's General Court before he became a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774–1777. In this capacity, he helped draft documents such as the Declaration of Independence (1776) and assisted with negotiations over peace treaties with Great Britain at the end of the Revolutionary War (1783).
Adams served two terms in office from 1797–1801. During these years, he worked towards national unity by encouraging trade among states; promoting science, education, agriculture, manufacturing industries; establishing friendly relations with other nations; creating uniform laws throughout America; regulating commerce through tariffs on imports/exports; strengthening public credit by funding government debt payments; maintaining neutrality when war broke out between England & France (1800); quelling internal rebellions like Shays' Rebellion (Massachusetts - 1786); making federal appointments based upon merit rather than political patronage systems; securing judicial appointments; and independence through life tenures for judges appointed under Article III of the Constitution & passing the Alien & Sedition Acts restricting freedom of speech against foreign immigrants or critical views about the president or government policies. These accomplishments set precedents that would later become part of US law today.