John Adams is a seven-part biographical miniseries which aired on HBO, chronicling the life of the controversial American Revolutionary War statesman, rebel, lawyer, member of the Continental Congress and Founding Father. He would be considered one of the most important if not the most important member of the Continental Congress, and he was, along with Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, a key member of the Declaration Committee which would, in July 1776, present the Congress with the Declaration of Independence, one of the most famous documents in the history of the world. After the war, Adams would become the nation's first Vice President and the second President of the United States. His one term in office, however, was marred by partisan fighting, which was made worse by Adams' stubborness and short temper. The oppressive Alien and Sedition Acts, in particular, were considered the first major test of the Bill of Rights which Adams had himself championed. Adams lost his reelection bid to his own Vice President and bitter political rival Thomas Jefferson. After their terms in office, Adams and Jefferson would rekindle a friendship formed in the Continental Congress which would last literally to their dying breaths, which were breathed within minutes of one another on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the document for which they would both be best remembered.
The miniseries is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2001 biography by David McCullough. It is executive produced by Tom Hanks, who was previously responsible for two other acclaimed and highly rated HBO miniseries about significant events in American history, From the Earth to the Moon, about the Apollo space program, and Band of Brothers, about the European theater of World War II. John Adams has a similar length and scope to those previous miniseries, but instead of 12 parts each roughly 60 minutes long, it has seven parts each roughly 105 minutes long. Oscar-nominated actor Paul Giamatti plays Adams, and multiple Oscar-nominated actress Laura Linney plays his wife Abigail, named by many historians as the most significant woman of the Revolutionary era in American history. The miniseries focuses on the events in Adams' and the nation's history from the Boston Massacre—a 1770 event in which five American protestors were killed when British troops, whom Adams successfully defended in court, fired upon an angry mob—through Adams' death.
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