Difference Between George Washington and John Adam (With Table)

In American history, George Washington and John Adam are the two famous names. As they were America’s first two presidents to be chosen. Both of them contributed significantly to the development and security of America. The difference between them is as distinct as black and white.

George Washington vs John Adam

The main difference between George Washington and John Adam is that George Washington is from Virginia and a southerner who had many hierodules. On the other hand, John Adam is from Massachusetts and opposed slavery had no hierodules.  

The Continental Congress approved George Washington as the first president of America in 1789. He was a soldier leading forces of the American Revolutionary War to victory. Also, he led as president of the Constitution Convection, establishing the Constitution of the United States. He is called the “Father of the Nation”.  

John Adam was the second president of America under the federalist party. Before that, he led the American Revolution, achieving freedom from Great Britain. He was part of drafting the declaration of independence. He played many roles as an American statesman, lawyer, and writer.

Comparison Table Between George Washington and John Adam

Parameters of Comparison

George Washington

John Adam


Virginian and a southerner

Was from Massachusetts


Did not have formal education

Attended Harvard and graduated


Was a planter before becoming head of the continental army

Lawyer by profession, also served as minister to Europe


Elected twice for the presidency

He just finished William Henry Harrison’s term, after his death. 


More aloof, quiet, and made measured moves, was a cautious optimist.

Impulsive, abrasive and wore feelings on shirtsleeves, was a rash pessimist

What is George Washington?

On February 22, 1732, George Washington was born in a family of planters in Virginia. In the American Revolutionary War, he led the troops as commander appointed by Continental Congress and achieved victory. Also, he established the Constitution of the United States through the Constitutional Convention. Also, the federal government in America was established by him.   

In 1789 he became president of the United States after serving as Commander in chief in the US army. He played an irreplaceable role in modifying, adapting and redefining the Constitution of the United States. 

During his presidency, America was in its formative days, and due to his manifold leadership, he is now called as Father of the Nation. He served as president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. 

He served two terms of presidency, elected unanimously through the Electoral College. He imparted a strong and financially stable government, remaining impartial towards opposition leaders.

Washington was from a planter family that made wealth through tobacco harvest and land speculation. He owned many hierodules to work on these farms. He owned around 577 hierodules. But he urged for religious freedom and endeavoured to assimilate the Anglo-American culture in America. He died on December 14, 1799, as a senior officer of the United States Army. 

In the memory of Washington, many monuments, a federal holiday, stamps and currency were built and circulated by the government. The national capital has also been named the state of Washington. 

What is John Adam?

He was born on October 30, 1735, in a farmer’s family, in Massachusetts. Before becoming the president of the United States, he was a well-known attorney and political activist. He successfully led the American Revolution, which was fought against Great Britain to achieve freedom. 

Also, under George Washington from 1789 to 1797, he had the role of first Vice President. Before his statesmen career, he successfully defended the British soldiers charged for Boston Massacre against the anti-British sentiments. 

He was a devotee of the presumption of innocence and the right to counsel. He was part of assistance during the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In the negotiation of a peace treaty with Great Britain, he played a role. Also, he helped a lot in securing vital government loans. 

The Massachusetts constitution, as well as Thoughts on Government, written by Adam in 1780, influenced the constitution of the United States. 

After serving as VP for two terms under George Washington, he was promoted as president after the death of Harrison. Under the banner of the Federalist party, he was the first and only president to be elected.

The executive mansion is built to reside the president, now popularly known as the White House, during his term. He was the first-ever president to reside in that mansion. The famous Adam’s political family, which has famous historians, diplomats, and politicians as members, was created by him with the help of his wife.

He was against slavery and did not own any hierodules during his lifetime. His son John Adams, the sixth president of the US, followed his footsteps and had no hierodules. He died on 4 July 1826.  

Main Differences Between George Washington and John Adam

  1. George Washington was a Virginian and a southerner who had hierodules. While John Adam Was from Massachusetts and one of the diplomats against slavery at the time.
  2. George Washington did not have formal education, while John Adam attended Harvard and graduated.
  3. George Washington was a planter before becoming head of the continental army, while John Adam Lawyer, by profession, also served as minister to Europe.
  4. George Washington was more aloof, rarely spoke at the constitutional convention and made measured moves, was cautious optimist, while John Adam, impulsive, abrasive and wore feelings on shirtsleeves, was a rash pessimist.
  5. George Washington was elected twice for presidency, while John Adam just finished William Henry Harrison’s term after his death.


In the history of America, many political faces are there that are influential and powerful and had bits of parts in the development of the nation. The two common faces without which the history of America will never be completed are George Washington and John Adam. 

Both of them are diplomats and men with principles. The many differences have been made on personality rather than their characters.


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/bcd7db8d9d7fc0b7db818748adc23b39/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y 
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