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John Adams - Part 5 "Unite or Die" 4/6/2008

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John Adams - Part 5 "Unite or Die" 4/6/2008

Old 04-08-08, 09:53 AM
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John Adams - Part 5 "Unite or Die" 4/6/2008

I did not see this episode posted by Decker so I will go ahead and add it.
Elected America's first Vice President, Adams is scolded by Abigail for his vanity, and is frustrated by his exclusion from President Washington's inner circle. He also sees his friendship with Jefferson, the new Secretary of State, strained by the opposing British-French conflict. Though he's vilified for casting an unpopular swing vote in the Senate that ratifies a U.S./British treaty, Adams ends up being elected President in 1796 - by a mere three votes over Jefferson. As Adams tours his presidential residence with Abigail, they find it stripped bare by his predecessor's staff. Undaunted, Abigail tries to rally her husband out of a melancholy brought on by the burdens of the presidency - and the nation's uncertain future.
Old 04-08-08, 10:03 AM
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I read this with regard to Adams and his exclusion from the inner circle.
While Washington was the unanimous choice for president, Adams came in second in the electoral college and became Vice President in the presidential election of 1789. He played a minor role in the politics of the 1790s and was reelected in 1792. (But we need to expatiate this fact: the reason Adams played, involuntarily, a smaller roll in the government, and indeed in the decisions of the Executive, was for precisely and only the reason that the Senate forbade the Vice President from taking part in their debates and Washington never asked Adams' for input on policy and legal issues. - The view was that the Vice President was to be the tie breaker in the Senate and the step-in for any untimely death or incapacitation of the President. Which was hardly the backseat Adams, the firebrand of the Revolution, was accustomed to taking.)

The part about Adams: "Mr. President." Washington: "That will do!" made more sense when I caught the repeat of the episode since I missed Adams' "how to address the President" scene before the opening credits.
Old 04-08-08, 04:13 PM
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I liked this episode - and was eager to see how they addressed the fact that Washington gave up his office to someone else.

There is a John Adams exhibit at Vassar College near Hyde Park NY if anyone is interested. It is the letters that he and his wife wrote one another. I think it started the weekend of 4/6.
Old 04-08-08, 04:31 PM
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It did an excellent job (through Abigail's observations) expressing the enormity of Washington's retirement... we didn't have term limits then. He literally could have camped out in that seat and become the new Monarch, and yet we see through his leaving office and his renunciation of any honorariums "Mr. President... and nothing else " how truly humble (and great) he was.

And Thomas Jefferson is still the coolest bastard to ever live.

Old 04-09-08, 09:17 AM
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Loved the Hamilton/Jefferson squabbles.

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