March 18, 2010

The Sixty Second Patriot #3

In 1800, John Adams was the President and he ran for re-election against his rival Thomas Jefferson. Adams and Jefferson had very different ideas about how to run the country and they did not like each other very much. Jefferson won, but there were a lot of hard feelings. Adams could have tried to hang on to power, but instead he allowed Jefferson to become President. Up until then, people with new political ideas could only come to power after violence. The Adams-Jefferson election showed the world that there was a different way. They set the example of how even when people really disagree with each other, power in America goes according to how the people as a whole cast their votes. In fact, later in their lives, Adams and Jefferson set their differences aside and became friends.



The Sixty-Second Patriot series of posts is intended to provide teachers who are required to engage in "patriotic exercises" with truthful, age-appropriate, meaningful, educationally-rich, non-controversial, secular alternatives to rote recital of the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as brief meditations on American history, civics, and values accessible to all people. Suggestions and contributions to this series from Readers are welcome.

5 comments:

Ken said...

It would be difficult to do justice to the Alien & Sedition Act in sixty seconds, but a positive reference to Adams should be qualified . . . .

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Here's the thing. I'm trying to find things to say that inspire patriotism and avoid controversy (and apparently I'm doing a very poor job of that).

That means that I have to mute criticism of the people I'm trying to praise. There are things to criticize about every President, including Washington (in response to 60-second patriot #1, commenter M1rth offered several criticisms of the Washington Administration I happen to agree with, most notably sending VP Adams in to the Senate to try and meddle with Legislative autonomy).

So saying "Adams did some good things and some bad things" is certainly accurate but I don't think I have either the time or the purpose to provide that kind of nuance.

zzi said...

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
Greenest state in the land of the free.
Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree,
Killed him a bear when he was only three.

Davy, Davy Crockett King of the Wild Frontier.

Fought single handed through the Injun war,
Till the Creeks was whipped and peace was restored.
And while he was handling this risky chore,
Made himself a legend, forevermore.

Davy, Davy Crockett the man who don't know fear.

He went of to Congress and served a spell
Fixin' up the government and laws as well.
Took over Washington, I heard tell,
And patched up the crack in the Liberty Bell.

Davy, Davy Crockett, seein' his duty clear.

When he come home, his politickin' was done,
While the western march had just begun.
So he packed his gear, and his trusty gun
And let out a grinnin' to follow the sun.

Davy, Davy Crockett, Leadin the Pioneer.

Ken said...

TL:

Here's the thing. I think you could do a follow-up sixty seconds to address it.

"Yesterday we talked about President John Adams, Founding Father and Patriot.

In addition to the good things he did, President Adams showed us that sometimes even the best leaders are tempted to interfere with the liberties the Constitution gives us. President Adams signed laws called the Alien and Sedition Acts, which his administration used to put people who criticized the government in jail. Historians now agree that the Alien and Sedition Acts violated the people's right to freedom of speech, recognized in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

But the good sense of the American people prevailed. They voted out President Adams' Federalist Party, and historians believe that the Federalists' support of the Alien and Sedition Acts led to their downfall.

Transplanted Lawyer said...

Awesome! Thanks, Ken. I've taken the liberty of modifying your suggestion somewhat and offered it as Sixty Second Patriot #4.

zzi, I do not get the impression that you are trying to be helpful in this way.