UNA HI201 ‘John Adams’ Discussion Board: Join or Die

There has been a concerted effort on the part of several historians to rescue the reputation of John Adams from an afterthought of the Revolutionary Era and put him in his rightful place as one of the most important figures in the creation of great republic. The book ‘Founding Brothers’ and the book this series is based off of have done a lot to reposition Mr. Adams.

Consider the following questions about tonight’s episode: Join or Die

1. What do you see as Adams’ strengths and weaknesses?

2. What words would you use to characterize his personilty?

3. Which scenes shed the most light on his views and values?

4. In Part 1 of the miniseries, Adams agrees to defend British soldiers accused of firing at colonists during the Boston Massacre. Why does Adams make this controversial decision? What is the outcome of the case? What price does Adams pay for this decision? Do you see a contradiction between Adams’s identity as an American patriot and his role as a defender of British soldiers? Explain.

5. The tarring and feathering of the customs agent is clearly the most eye-catching scene. Do a little research to see how common this was and if the major characters like Sam Adams and John Hancock had anything to do with this.

6. The problem with drama set in the past is that it becomes stuffy, like a powdered wig and a lot of thous. Give me a general sense of what you thought about the episode and if you would like to see where this is headed.

7. What do you make of the relationship between John and Abigal? So much has been written about her. Tell me your imprssions. What about his and Sam Adams relationship as portrayed?


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