Who Is Samuel Adams?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Samuel Adams helped defend the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution.
Samuel Adams helped defend the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution.

Samuel Adams was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America; he was a politician who lived from 1722 until 1803, and he was one of the first people in the colonies to argue for independence from Great Britain. Samuel Adams was also a member of the Continental Congress, which was a body of politicians from each of the colonies who debated and eventually sought out independence. He was an architect of the Articles of Confederation, and he helped convince the Congress to draft and approve the Declaration of Independence.

Samuel Adams was involved in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the U.S. Constitution.
Samuel Adams was involved in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the U.S. Constitution.

A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Samuel Adams was born into a politically active family that included his second cousin, John Adams, who would later become the second President of the United States. Samuel Adams would himself become governor of Massachusetts after the Revolutionary War, in which the colonies fought for independence from the British. As a young man, Adams was well educated and initially spent some time trying his hand as a businessman. He had no knack for it, and he lost a significant amount of money after opening his own business. When that business failed, his father brought him to work at a malthouse that made malt used in brewing beer. Adams's image is still used by beer companies in modern times, though he himself never brewed beer.

Colonists threw tea overboard to protest mandatory taxes.
Colonists threw tea overboard to protest mandatory taxes.

Though the extent of his involvement in the event is still disputed, Samuel Adams was a proponent and defendant of the Boston Tea Party. This event was in response to new taxes imposed by Great Britain on tea sent to the colonies; Adams was a vocal opponent of this new tax because it implied that Great Britain had the right to impose taxes on the colonies without any colonial representation in Parliament. While Adams may or may not have been present at the actual event, in which several men dumped chests of tea into the harbor, he defended the event and used it as a way to convince others for independence.

Boston's role in shaping local and U.S. political history is still on display at old government buildings that still stand in the city.
Boston's role in shaping local and U.S. political history is still on display at old government buildings that still stand in the city.

Adams was a member of the committee that drafted the Articles of Confederation, which was a document that stressed the sovereignty of the colonies, and it became the precursor to the current American Constitution. He was active in Congress until the 1780s, when his health forced him to return to Massachusetts. He remained involved in Massachusetts politics over the course of the next 20 years until his death.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Samuel Adams helped defend the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution.
      Samuel Adams helped defend the Boston Tea Party during the American Revolution.
    • Samuel Adams was involved in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the U.S. Constitution.
      Samuel Adams was involved in the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the U.S. Constitution.
    • Colonists threw tea overboard to protest mandatory taxes.
      Colonists threw tea overboard to protest mandatory taxes.
    • Boston's role in shaping local and U.S. political history is still on display at old government buildings that still stand in the city.
      Boston's role in shaping local and U.S. political history is still on display at old government buildings that still stand in the city.