John Adams as American Statesman

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The challenges of public administrative leaders today are not so different, than the challenges from the days of the Founding Fathers. Leaders often are challenged with integrating the appropriate principle into important decisions that will ultimately have an effect on the American people. In the past there were exemplary models of statesmanship such as: Patrick Henry and George Washington, to which they applied a Christian philosophy into what they did and how they came to make important decisions. They did this by seeking guidance from the Lord through testament such as I Peter 2:13-14: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right”.

True statesmanship is quantified through the profound and positive impact that a leader has on those that follow them and the outcome that they will produce. Statesmanship builds a foundation on well-founded, that is unchanging, and with truth (Constitutional Convention). In the face of an ever-evolving nation, with opposition and challenges, the foundation remains intact, and although they may have to change policy or the method of how things are executed, they do it because of a practical strategy to further the underlying principles in the bigger picture (Butterfield, 1951). Additionally, statesman should not be directed by the public opinion, rather through the decisions defined within their morals and rooted in the belief that is right or wrong (Goeglein, 2012). The principles on which the Founding Fathers accomplished independence for the United States were founded within the very principles that the Bible teaches about Christianity. The concept that Christian principals are as “…eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God”.

John Adams was an attorney, author, statesman, political philosopher, and diplomat. Blank explains that Adams served as the second President of the United States, after serving as the First Vice President under President George Washington. Adams was as the forefront of leadership in obtaining Americas Independence from Great Brittan. Adams was a ‘political theorist in the Age of Enlightenment. He promoted a strong and central republican government. As a statesman, Adams naturally had innovative ideas and he was regularly published. Additionally, Adams had strong interpersonal skills which allowed him to see and learn the wisdom of Washington and applied this knowledge during his own presidency to exemplify his republican values, civic values, all while remaining free from scandal while holding office.

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The United States was ultimately founded by people dedicated to a set of Christian principles. During the Presidency of John Adams, and with his experience of the Revolutionary War he realized the need to strengthen the government forces by expanding the navy and army. As a grounded statesman, Adams often used his authority to promote good and to end evil. Romans 13:1-7. Paul urges prayers “…for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Further Henry Kissinger states that “from the time of our Deceleration of our Independence…Americans have believed that this country has a moral significance to the world”. Adams, like all political figures, are faced with “…political ethics, and the consciousness that Americas achievement and worldwide example should be tempered and with an element of restraint”. John Adams was quoted as saying the people “…have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the character and conduct of their rulers”.

Emotional intelligence is all about honesty. Blank explains that John Adams was self-absorbed and easily took offense to his peers. However, this vanity did not seem to get in the way of his job. He also explains that Adams “…acted honorably in refusing to exploit war with France for personal and partisan gain”. Adams deeply engrained principles provided him a strong presence and reputation early on in his career. He had many notable moments as a statesman such as being a driving force behind the revolutionary movement and becoming a key figure in Congress.

Adams' professional life was very contradictory. According to Blank his “…conservatism led him to the top of the Federalist Party that had become a minority group of elite commercial interests”. However, Adams was raised impoverished and felt he had achieved great success through his own hard work. Meanwhile, slave-owner Thomas Jefferson campaigned as an advocate and ‘defender of the common man’. Adams conservative approach was based on the belief that will always be inequality and that the government should recognize and address societal issues, thus displaying his emotional intelligence and ability to understand, manage, and effectively navigate through these complexities.

While Jefferson remained optimistic to nations problems, Adams emotional intelligence allowed him to recognize that “…human reason could not overcome all the world's problems”. In Benjamin Franklin's estimation, Adams 'means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his sense”.

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