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

Teacher Workshop

The Material Culture of Death

21Oct 9:00AM 2017
Registration fee: $25 per person

Grief was serious business in the nineteenth century. We will explore grim reminders of lives lost such as mourning jewelry, postmortem photographs, samplers, and ...

Author Talk

The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography & the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost

21Oct 2:00PM 2017

More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the &ldquo ...

Brown Bag

"Let it be your resolution to be happy": Women's Emotion Work in the Early Republic

23Oct 12:00PM 2017

Tasked with maintaining the comfort and happiness of their families even in the face of adversity, many middling- and upper-class women in the early-nineteenth century ...

From our Blog

Gertrude Codman Carter’s Diary, October 1917

Today we return to the 1917 diary of Gertrude Codman Carter. You may read the previous entries here:   Introduction | January | February | March | April | May June | July | August | September ...

“Mark, Traveler, this humble stone”: Quaint and Curious Epitaphs ...

I find a visit to any of New England’s burying grounds fascinating year-round, but I consider treading among slate gravestones and timeworn monuments in October a quintessential New England ...

Read more from our blog

Have you seen?