By Robert V. Remini
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Without him no Union seemed possible. So the electors unanimously elected him chief executive and John Adams Vice President. Coming from Massachusetts, Adams provided a good balance to Washington, a Virginian—thus both North and South were represented in the executive branch—and his career as a public servant and his contributions in the struggle for independence placed him in the front ranks of American statesmen. He was among the members who had negotiated the treaty that ended the Revolution, and he had represented the new nation at various times in France, Holland, and England.
Angrily, in the spring of 1774 Parliament enacted the Coercive Laws, or, as the colonists called them, the Intolerable Acts, by which the port of Boston was closed to all trade until the tea was paid for; it forbade town meetings; it altered the voting for members of the Massachusetts assembly; and it included a new quartering of soldiers that applied to all colonies. Parliament had gone beyond simple punishment for the Tea Party, according to the colonists. It had now abridged their fundamental freedoms as Englishmen.
Adams and Franklin added some minor amendments. On July 2 Lee’s resolution was passed, and on July 4 the Declaration of Independence was adopted without dissent and signed by the president of the Continental Congress, John Hancock. The Congress also adopted a ﬂag, on June 14, 1777, one consisting of thirteen red and white alternating stripes and thirteen white stars on a ﬁeld of blue. As delegates from sovereign, independent states, the members were united in their determination to win freedom from the tyranny of Great Britain, but they had little enthusiasm for creating a controlling central government.
A Short History of USA by Robert V. Remini