John Adams: Thoughts on Government

(1776)

John Adams’s pamphlet Thoughts on Government, written in 1776, is considered one of Adams's most important political works. It immediately influenced the writing of new republican constitutions for New Jersey, Virginia, and North Carolina, and later in New Hampshire and New York; by 1777 this brief essay had come to embody the orthodox concept of American republicanism. Over time, Adams's model republic appeared in several more American guises, first in his own Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, then in the U.S. Constitution, and finally in both the revised constitutions of several old states and the first constitutions of many new states that entered the Union over the next two centuries.

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John Adams (Library of Congress)

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