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John Adams

A little about the Alien and Sedition Acts where John Adams comes off sounding a lot like today's republicans. The clip is from the sixth episode of the HBO series on John Adams based on the book by David McCullough.




Quicktime Video 4.1 MB | Duration: 02'44
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John Adams

Like many of you I'm enjoying the HBO series on John Adams. My first in depth introduction to John and Abigail Adams came some forty odd years ago from Irving Stone's Those Who Love a book that does an wonderful job of capturing the very special relationship John and Abigail shared. More recently I read Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis, a book Charles recommends, a recommendation with which I heartily concur. Here is a bit of video from a recent episode.




Quicktime Video 3.6 MB | Duration: 02'28
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The conversation between John and his friend and confidant Dr. Benjamin Rush was a stark reminder of the divisiveness born of party politics and of its early genesis. And now a bit of John Adams history contributed by Charles Lemos

On HBO, the John Adams series is in full swing. Based on the book by David McCullough, which is well-written and reads like a novel, the series is receiving praise. I would also recommend any book by Joseph Ellis, especially one called Founding Brothers that has a great chapter on Adams and his relationship with Abigail. Abigail and John had quite the torrid love affair (their letters form a large part of the scholarship for the McCullough book) and theirs was also a political partnership in an age where that was still far from the norm.

Before you all get carried away with John Adams' wonder, might I remind you that his Administration passed the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 a series of four acts aimed at internal critics of the Administration. Think of them as a Patriot Act for their times. While Jefferson would repeal three of the Acts, one remains still on the books, the Alien Enemies Act (allows for detention or deportation of foreign nationals in times of war). Jefferson thought the Acts unconstitutional because they violated the Tenth Amendment (the states are effectively sovereign).

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