John Adams,


3 Big Ideas

John Adams supports federalism, limited government, separation of powers, and checks and balances.  He is a federalist and believes that the government should be separated into the federal, state, and local government with the federal being the most important. Although some people view federalism supporting a strong central government where the people do not  get a say, John Adams believes that the separation between the federal, federal, state, and local governments will give the people a more direct link to the government as they can more easily communicate their ideas to the local government than the federal government. Adams also supports limited government. As a strong leader in the Revolution, he knows that it is important to keep the federal government from becoming too powerful.  Adams believes that limited government can be achieved with separation of powers and popular sovereignty. In his "Thoughts on Government" pamphlet, he states, "I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly."  Because they can not be in one assembly, Adams supports the separation into the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branches who all have their specific responsibilities.  So that not one of these branches becomes too powerful, he also supports checks and balances, where all of the branches have power over another branch. He also explains in his pamphlet that if there was not a checks and balances system in place, " [The legislative and executive] will oppose and enervate upon each other, until the contest shall end in war, and the whole power, legislative and executive, be usurped by the strongest."

Plans and proposals

John Adams is a big believer in the Enlightenment principles.  He strongly encourages education and believes that it should be available for everyone. Because of this, he plans to create free school systems for everyone, including the lower classes.  He also values virtue, and believes that virtue would bring happiness to the government.  To apply this, he plans to build more churches and encourage religion so that people can be morally led.