John Adams was a short man, but long on opinions and always thinking for himself. This earned him the nickname "Atlas of Independence." His father (a farmer, shoemaker, local government leader, and church deacon) encouraged him intellectually from a young age. After attending Harvard College, John Adams worked as a teacher and then for many years as a lawyer, developing a reputation for being independent, outspoken, and honest.
Adams moved into public service just as the movement for an independent America was developing. What kind of leadership role did Adams play in the creation of the United States?