John Adams could be, and was on occasion, cantankerous, stubborn, tactless, even rude. He was also prone to vanity and self-pity, and sensitive to what he perceived as slights, or attacks on his reputation or character. He also had a lust for fame, as did many involved in the founding of this nation.
But if fame was the spur, it was also the driving force be-hind Adams' enormous energy, energy guided by a strong sense of honor and duty that was built into his character and stayed with him his whole life.
Adams was a realist, with a profound sense of what people en masse are all about. He seems to have drawn that knowledge from his understanding of himself. He knew that each of us has the capacity for good or evil, and the gov-ernment of checks and balances he envisioned for the new nation they were building took this into account.
Victory in the long struggle for freedom was certainly not assured. Many were Tories who wished to continue as British subjects. Many cared, but not enough to fight for the cause. We can be thankful for those who did, who initiated and carried on the War for In-dependence. Among them were the best and brightest the colonies had to offer. These were the people who tendered their lives, property, and sacred honor as collateral in the struggle for freedom. We can be grateful that John Adams was among them.