John Adams (2008)
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Unnecessary War 

After Adams becomes President continues Washington's policy of neutrality between England and France despite opposition inside his own cabinet.


Tom Hooper


Kirk Ellis, David McCullough (book)

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Episode credited cast:
Paul Giamatti ... John Adams
Laura Linney ... Abigail Adams
Stephen Dillane ... Thomas Jefferson
Rufus Sewell ... Alexander Hamilton
Sarah Polley ... Nabby Adams
John Dossett ... Benjamin Rush
Samuel Barnett ... Thomas Adams
Kevin Trainor ... Charles Adams
Mamie Gummer ... Sally Smith Adams
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Curran ... White House Construction Foreman
Lucas N. Hall Lucas N. Hall ... Continental Army Officer
Charisse Matthews ... White House Servant


Following the peace treaty with England President Adams struggles to avoid war with France despite pressure from his Federalist cabinet and French provocation. John finds the price of peace to his career and the price of his long career of public service to his family is indeed high. Written by David Foss

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TV-14 | See all certifications »


Release Date:

13 April 2008 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Although the Undeclared War with France, or Quasi-War, the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the XYZ Affair are part of the plot, they are not named as such. See more »


When John Adams arrived at the White House, he arrived alone in the late evening on November 1, 1800, and at the south front of the house, which did not yet have the famous semi-circular portico, but which had the only functioning staircase. His famous blessing, which endures on the mantle of the State Dining Room, was written in a letter to Abigail, who was still in Massachusetts and arrived some weeks later. The episode also shows the Adamses occupying the East Room as a parlor/office/dining room. This was not the case; the only use of the East Room at the time of Adams' short occupation, was as a drying room for laundry. The present Green Room was used as a dining room, the Blue Room was the entry, and the Red Room was used as a combination office/parlor. The Adams family used these three rooms almost exclusively, with the exception of the one bedroom on the second floor which was accessed via the servants staircase, due to the fact that the grand staircase was not yet completed. Aside from these errors, the depiction of the White House as it stood in 1800-1801 is accurate and well represented. See more »


[John and Abigail Adams arrive at the unfinished White House for the first time and see that the workers ther consists of slaves]
Abigail Adams: Half-fed slaves building our nation's capitol. What possible good can come from such a place?
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Version of John Adams: Peacefield (2008) See more »


Piano Trio in E Flat, Opus 100 (second movement)
Composed by Franz Schubert
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