John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and the Birth of Party Politics in America

Developed by Duncan Wood, Newton North High School, Newton, Mass.

In this unit students will learn how the Federalist and Republican parties, represented by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were founded, what they believed, and their struggle for the hearts and minds of the American people. Students will also learn how, despite their very different views, members of these two parties shared an idealistic vision and belief in the future of the United States, that in the end transcended vicious party rivalries.

Although today the people of the United States may disagree on some fundamental issues, they find common ground in the country’s founding ideals: republican government, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Studying the relationship of Adams and Jefferson is an excellent way for students to understand this unifying dynamic in American political history. Working together, they helped to unite thirteen colonies and founded a nation based on commonly held beliefs. They then parted ways on fundamental political disagreements, and in later life were reunited by their commonly held beliefs.

Upcoming Events

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Interreligious Responses to the Settlement House Movement, 1880-1924

25Apr 5:15PM 2017

By 1913, over 400 settlement houses catered to immigrants and laborers across the United States. This paper analyzes how Catholic and Jewish immigrant communities in New ...

Author Talk

John Quincy Adams and the Politics of Slavery: Selections from the Diary

26Apr 6:00PM 2017
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

In the final years of his political career, President John Quincy Adams was known for his objections to slavery. As a young statesman, however, he supported slavery. What ...

Cooking Boston

Cooking Boston: Eating Other People's Food

27Apr 6:00PM 2017
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Program 2: Eating Other People's FoodIn the second half of the 20th century, Americans were re-introduced to the food of the world. Most famously, Julia Child in ...

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LIBRARY IS CLOSED ON WEDNESDAY, 26 APRIL, FOR A STAFF EVENT.  This week's program schedule is heavy in the middle, with a seminar and a pair of public programs. Here are the ...

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