Thoughts on Government, or in full Thoughts on Government, Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies, was written by John Adams during the spring of 1776 in response to a resolution of the North Carolina Provincial Congress which requested Adams' suggestions on the establishment of a new government and the drafting of a constitution. Adams says that Politics is the Science of human Happiness -and the Felicity of Societies depends on the Constitutions of Government under which they live. Many of the ideas put forth in Adams' essay were adopted in December 1776 by the framers of North Carolina's first constitution. The document is table in that Adams sketches out the three branches of American government: the executive, judicial, and legislative branches, all with a system of checks and balances. Furthermore, in response to Common Sense by Thomas Paine, Adams rejects the idea of a single legislative body, fearing it may become tyrannical or self-serving (as in the case of Holland at the time). Thus, Adams also conceived of the idea that two legislative bodies should serve as checks to the power of the other. John Adams (October 30 1735 - July 4, 1826) was the second president of the United States (1797-1801), having earlier served as the first vice president of the United States (1789-1797). An American Founding Father, Adams was a statesman, diplomat, and a leading advocate of American independence from Great Britain. Well educated, he was an Enlightenment political theorist who promoted republicanism, as well as a strong central government, and wrote prolifically about his often seminal ideas-both in published works and in letters to his wife and key adviser Abigail Adams. Adams was a lifelong opponent of slavery, having never bought a slave. In 1770 he provided a principled, controversial, and successful legal defense to the British soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre, because he believed in the right to counsel and the protect[ion] of incence. Adams came to prominence in the early stages of the American Revolution. A lawyer and public figure in Boston, as a delegate from Massachusetts to the Continental Congress, he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its primary advocate in the Congress. Later, as a diplomat in Europe, he helped negotiate the eventual peace treaty with Great Britain, and was responsible for obtaining vital governmental loans from Amsterdam bankers. A political theorist and historian, Adams largely wrote the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which together with his earlier Thoughts on Government, influenced American political thought. One of his greatest roles was as a judge of character: in 1775, he minated George Washington to be commander-in-chief, and 25 years later minated John Marshall to be Chief Justice of the United States. Adams' revolutionary credentials secured him two terms as George Washington's vice president and his own election in 1796 as the second president. During his one term as president, he encountered ferocious attacks by the Jeffersonian Republicans, as well as the dominant faction in his own Federalist Party led by his bitter enemy Alexander Hamilton. Adams signed the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, and built up the army and navy especially in the face of an undeclared naval war (called the Quasi-War ) with France, 1798-1800. The major accomplishment of his presidency was his peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton's opposition.