Virtually all modern accounts of the Revolution begin in 1763 with the Peace of Paris, the great treaty that concluded the Seven Years’ War. Opening the story there, however, makes the imperial events and conflicts that followed the war — the controversy over the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act crisis — into precursors of the Revolution. No matter how strenuous their other disagreements, most modern historians have looked at the years after 1763 not as contemporary Americans and Britons saw them — as a postwar era vexed by the unanticipated problems in relations between the colonies and metropolis — but as what we in retrospect know those years to have been, a pre-Revolutionary period. By sneaking glances, in effect, at what was coming next, historians robbed their accounts of contingency and suggested, less by design than by inadvertence, that the independence and nationhood of the United States were somehow inevitable.
John Quincy Adams
Oil on canvas; 76.52 x 63.5 cm (30 1/8 x 25 in). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
Oil on panel; 68 × 55.9 cm (26.77 × 22.01 in) The White House Collection, Washington, DC.
Oil on canvas; 76.4 × 63.5 cm (30.08 × 25 in). The White House Collection, Washington, DC.
Watercolor, black chalk, and graphite on off-white laid paper; 10 3/8 x 6 1/2 in.
Oil on canvas; 241.3 x 151.8 cm (95 x 59 3/4 in). Harvard University Portrait Collection, Cambridge, MA.
According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art web site, this image is a copy of a lost daguerreotype of Adams taken by Philip Haas in 1843.
Oil on canvas; Height: 1,574.8 mm (62 in). Width: 1,193.8 mm (47 in). The White House Collection, Washington, DC.