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John Adams was a realistic president Adams was viewed by his peers as one of the most significant statesmen of the revolutionary era but his status among the distinguished faded What made Adams a prominent figure at first later led to his demise as the second president Above all John Adams was honest he also had a sharp way with words The two most important qualities that helped him through his four years were his caliber as a political thinker and he pragmatic perspective on American foreign policy First John Adams had to surpass a few obstacles after taking office in 1797 As the second president of the newly founded country John Adams found these obstacles from the beginning He inherited many burdens from Washingtons presidency Such burdens included a raging naval conflict with the French in the Caribbean named the Quasi war and the impractical task of succeeding the greatest hero of the revolutionary era of course Washington The Quasi War carried throughout the Adams presidency He had to make the decision as whether or not to engage in war with France Hamiltonians were enraged by John Adams decision not to declare war on France While the Jeffersionians were willing to give it one last try with France Adams attempted to steer a middle course between these partisan sides which left him vulnerable to political attacks from both sides If Adams had requested a declaration of war in 1798 he would have enjoyed widespread popularity and a virtually certain reelection two years later Instead John Adams acted with characteristic independence by sending yet another and this time successful peace delegation to France against the advice of his cabinet and his Federalist supporters The move ruined him politically but avoided a costly war that the young American republic was ill prepared to fight John Adams did not fair so well in passing the Alien and Sedition Acts The two acts were passed within less
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