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A political leader of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries; one of the Founding Fathers. Adams was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the second president, from 1797 to 1801, after George Washington. Washington and Adams were the only presidents from the Federalist party. Adams's presidency was marked by diplomatic challenges, in which he avoided war with France. The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed while he was president.