John Adams and the New Nation | National Humanities Center

Humanities in Class: Webinar Series

John Adams and the New Nation

Scott E. Casper (Fellow, 2005–06)

October 30, 2014

In the 1790s and 1800s the United States was a new nation, not just because it had been founded only a few years earlier but because it was a new kind of nation, a representative democracy spread over a vast territory. No one had ever governed such a country. How could it be done? What sort of leaders would be needed? How should they be educated? Between 1774 and 1793 John Adams, who became the nation’s second president in 1797, and his son, John Quincy Adams, who became the sixth in 1825, explored these questions in a remarkable series of letters. This webinar will consider the letters, compiled from the National Archives Website “Founders Online,” from several perspectives: the changing context of events in America and Europe, eighteenth-century education, father-son relationships, and the particular dynamics within one highly educated, civic-minded family.


Political Science / History / American History / American Revolution / Primary Sources / Political Philosophy /