Novanglus, and Massachusettensis; or Political Essays


Category: Philosophy/Politics

By John Adams

Published in 1819

Reference #0021

Novanglus, and Massachusettensis; or Political Essays, Published in the Years 1774 and 1775, on the Principal Points of Controversy, between Great Britain and her Colonies. The Former by John Adams, Late President of the United States; the Latter by Jonathan Sewall, then King’s Attorney General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay to which are Added, a Number of Letters, Lately Written by President Adams, to the Honourable William Tudor; Some of which were Never Before Published.

First Boston Edition. This volume contains the six-page subscriber list that includes John Hancock, Levi Lincoln, and other notable New Englanders. John Adams’ “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” first volume appeared in London, New York, and Philadelphia in 1787 and Boston in 1788.

Adams meant for “A Defence” to be a one-volume work; however, he added two more volumes in 1787 and 1788 to address issues raised by critics and to provide more examples. “A Defence” was written while Adams was the American ambassador at the Court of St. James in the United Kingdom.

In the first volume, Adams describes and examines the various forms of Ancient and Modern government as well as their structures. Adams strongly favored the separations of powers believing the two branches of legislature would balance the power of government and the branches would come together in times of crisis.

Upon its publication, “A Defence” had a profound effect on the delegates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, and its influence can be seen in the United States Constitution.