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On July 1, Congress considered final arguments on the question of independence.
From Adams's perspective there were two main problems that must be addressed by all republican constitution-makers.
The first was to find some kind of constitutional device by which to neutralize the vices, but also to draw out and up the talents of the exceptional few.
At the request of several colleagues, he wrote his own constitutional blueprint, , which was used as a working model by constitution-makers in several states.
Later, in 1779, Adams drafted the Massachusetts Constitution, which was the most sophisticated constitution produced during the Revolutionary era, and, as Mc Cullough reminds us, is the "oldest functioning written constitution in the world."Adams's greatest moment in Congress came in the summer of 1776.
To argue that Adams was America's greatest founding statesman, the true "Atlas of American Independence," is a bold claim.
Mc Cullough's brief for Adams's greatness is persuasive.
Adams was at center stage in the American Revolution from beginning to end.
He was a leading voice in Boston radical politics during the early years of the Imperial Crisis, and with his election to the first Continental Congress in 1774, Adams emerged as one of America's leading patriots.
Shunned by aristocratic old-world diplomats, Adams worked tirelessly, employing what he called "militia diplomacy"; he raced back and forth between Paris and The Hague, breaking all the rules of diplomatic etiquette, and pounding on doors until he was listened to.
Eventually, he succeeded in convincing the Dutch Republic to recognize American independence in 1782—and he negotiated critical loans with Amsterdam bankers.