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31 January, 22:53

What was Adams' overall opinion of the French Revolution?

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  1. 1 February, 00:49
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    Much of what I know of Adams's views on the French Revolution as it was happening is in reading parts of his letters to Thomas Jefferson as they appear in the book John Adams, by David McCollough. Adams was not against the revolution so much as he was against the extreme violence and methods that he pretty much equated as indiscriminate murder. He differed with Jefferson in this, as Jefferson held that the executions of the aristocracy and heads of institutions that supported them were necessary and signaled to the world there was no going back. Both Adams and Jefferson lost French friends to the revolution. Adams was of the opinion that the FR was resulting in replacing the tyranny of the few with the tyranny of the majority and that the excesses of the committee would lead to catastrophy in the end. Consequently, Adams developed a less than cordial esteem for the the leaders, while retaining hope for the French people in general. He had no love for the French agents the committee sent to America to drum up popular support for France and against Great Britain. These people caused serious problems for Adams as president and contributed greatly to the split in friendship with Jefferson that lasted for years.
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