George Washington vs John Adam: Difference and Comparison

In American history, George Washington and John Adams are two famous names as they were America’s first two presidents to be chosen.

Both of them contributed significantly to the development and security of America. The difference between them is as distinct as black and white.

Key Takeaways

  1. George Washington was the first President of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797, while John Adams was the second President, serving from 1797 to 1801.
  2. Washington played a crucial role in the American Revolutionary War as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, while Adams was a key diplomat and negotiator during the conflict.
  3. Washington was a member of the Federalist Party, though he never openly declared his affiliation, while Adams was a prominent Federalist who later became disillusioned with the party.

George Washington vs John Adam

George Washington established many traditions and institutions, such as the Cabinet system and the two-term limit for Presidents. John Adams was a key figure in the American Revolution and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and he was known for his intellect, passion, and outspokenness.

George Washington vs John Adam

The Continental Congress approved George Washington as America’s first president in 1789. He was a soldier leading forces of the American Revolutionary War to victory.

Also, he led as president of the Constitution Convection, establishing the Constitution of the United States. He is called the “Father of the Nation”.  

John Adams was the second president of America under the federalist party. Before that, he led the American Revolution, achieving freedom from Great Britain.

He was part of drafting the Declaration of Independence. He played many roles as an American statesman, lawyer, and writer.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGeorge WashingtonJohn Adam
OriginsVirginian and a southernerWas from Massachusetts
Education Did not have formal educationAttended Harvard and graduated
ProfessionsWas a planter before becoming head of the continental armyLawyer by profession, also served as minister to Europe
PresidenciesElected twice for the presidencyHe just finished William Henry Harrison’s term, after his death. 
PersonalitiesMore aloof, quiet, and made measured moves, was a cautious optimist.Impulsive, abrasive and wore feelings on shirtsleeves, was a rash pessimist

Who was George Washington?

On February 22, 1732, George Washington was born in a family of planters in Virginia. In the American Revolutionary War, he led the troops as commander appointed by Continental Congress and achieved victory.

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Also, he established the Constitution of the United States through the Constitutional Convention. Also, the federal government in America was established by him.   

In 1789 he became president of the United States after serving as Commander in Chief of the US Army. He played an irreplaceable role in modifying, adapting and redefining the Constitution of the United States. 

During his presidency, America was in its formative days, and due to his manifold leadership, he is now called as Father of the Nation. He served as president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. 

He served two terms of presidency, elected unanimously through the Electoral College. He imparted a strong and financially stable government, remaining impartial towards opposition leaders.

Washington was from a planter family that made wealth through tobacco harvest and land speculation. He owned many hierodules to work on these farms.

He owned around 577 hierodules. But he urged for religious freedom and endeavoured to assimilate the Anglo-American culture in America.

He died on December 14, 1799, as a senior officer of the United States Army. In the memory of Washington, many monuments, federal holidays, stamps and currency were built and circulated by the government.

The national capital has also been named the state of Washington. 

george washington

Who was John Adam?

He was born on October 30, 1735, in a farmer’s family in Massachusetts. Before becoming the president of the United States, he was a well-known attorney and political activist.

He successfully led the American Revolution, which was fought against Great Britain to achieve freedom. Also, under George Washington from 1789 to 1797, he had the role of first Vice President.

Before his statesmen career, he successfully defended the British soldiers charged in Boston Massacre against anti-British sentiments. He was a devotee of the presumption of innocence and the right to counsel.

He was part of the assistance during the drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He played a role in negotiating a peace treaty with Great Britain.

Also, he helped a lot in securing vital government loans. The Massachusetts Constitution and Thoughts on Government, written by Adam in 1780, influenced the Constitution of the United States. 

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After serving as VP for two terms under George Washington, he was promoted to president after the death of Harrison. Under the banner of the Federalist Party, he was the first and only president to be elected.

During his term, the executive mansion is built to reside the president, now popularly known as the White House. He was the first-ever president to reside in that mansion.

The famous Adam’s political family, which has famous historians, diplomats, and politicians as members, was created by him with the help of his wife. He was against slavery and did not own any hierodules during his lifetime.

His son John Adams, the sixth president of the US, followed his footsteps and had no hierodules. He died on 4 July 1826.  

john adam

Main Differences Between George Washington and John Adam

  1. George Washington was a Virginian and a Southerner who had hierodules. In contrast, John Adam Was from Massachusetts and one of the diplomats against slavery at the time.
  2. George Washington did not have formal education, while John Adam attended Harvard and graduated.
  3. George Washington was a planter before becoming head of the continental army, while John Adam Lawyer, by profession, also served as minister to Europe.
  4. George Washington was more aloof, rarely spoke at the constitutional convention and, made measured moves, was a cautious optimist, while John Adam, impulsive, abrasive and wore feelings on shirtsleeves, was a rash pessimist.
  5. George Washington was elected twice for presidency, while John Adams had just finished William Henry Harrison’s term after his death.
Difference Between George Washington and John Adam
References
  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/bcd7db8d9d7fc0b7db818748adc23b39/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y 
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=wTOXSRg8jD4C&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=Difference+Between+George+Washington+and+John+Adam&ots=jeAR5NCb0B&sig=Tx3vn_l7Jnl77kCgPLiAIQs1lNw 

Last Updated : 26 July, 2023

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