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Facts about Samuel Adams for Kids


As a politician in colonial Massachusetts, Adams was a leader of the movement that became the American Revolution, and was one of the architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States.

  • As an influential official of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Boston Town Meeting in the 1760s, Adams was a part of a movement opposed to the British Parliament’s efforts to tax the British American colonies without their consent.
  • His 1768 circular letter calling for colonial non-cooperation prompted the occupation of Boston by British soldiers, eventually resulting in the Boston Massacre of 1770.
  • To help coordinate resistance to what he saw as the British government’s attempts to violate the British Constitution at the expense of the colonies, in 1772 Adams and his colleagues devised a committee of correspondence system, which linked like-minded Patriots throughout the Thirteen Colonies.
  • After Parliament passed the Coercive Acts in 1774, Adams attended the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, which was convened to coordinate a colonial response.
  • He helped guide Congress towards issuing the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and helped draft the Articles of Confederation and the Massachusetts Constitution.
  • Samuel Adams is a controversial figure in American history.
  • A New England town meeting is a form of local government with elected officials, and not just a gathering of citizens; it was, according to historian William Fowler, “the most democratic institution in the British empire”.
  • Drawing heavily upon English political theorist John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, Adams’s essays emphasized many of the themes that would characterize his subsequent career.
  • Adams saw the act as an infringement of longstanding colonial rights.
  • To protest this development, in November 1772 Adams and his colleagues devised a system of committees of correspondence; the towns of Massachusetts would consult with each other concerning political matters via messages sent through a network of committees that recorded British activities and protested imperial policies.
  • After the war, Adams opposed allowing Loyalists to return to Massachusetts, fearing that they would work to undermine republican government.