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

Special Event

Celebrating National History Day in Massachusetts at the State House

22Apr 10:00AM 2019
For questions and to register, contact Elyssa ...

Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase) 24 Beacon Street, Boston   The Massachusetts Historical Society, the state sponsor of National History Day in ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Boston’s North End: Post-World War II Italian Immigration, Segmented Assimilation, and the ...

23Apr 5:15PM 2019

This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of segmented assimilation. Depending on age, gender, parental style, and ...

Special Event; Member Event; Exhibition

“Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception

25Apr 6:00PM 2019
Please note: space at this event is limited.

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

Read more from our blog

Have you seen?