Alexander Hamilton speaksAlexander Hamilton speaks

Unnecessary War

Written by Kirk Ellis
Directed by Tom Hooper

Abandoned by Jefferson for retaining Washington's cabinet, President Adams holds firm on keeping the nation out of war, despite French aggression and pro-war sentiment among his advisors. Abigail urges him to sign the controversial Alien and Sedition Acts, seeing them as a way to preserve domestic security. Meanwhile, Adams faces a crisis at home when he disowns his alcoholic son Charles; when Charles later dies, Abigail pleads to Adams to make peace with their son's memory, but Adams refuses, and a disappointed Abigail returns to Braintree. The president is vindicated in the French crisis after the new Secretary of State, John Marshall, brokers a peace with Napoleon I, but Adams fails to win a second term as Jefferson claims the presidency in a run-off with Aaron Burr. Drained by politics and family tragedy, Adams exits the new capital, Washington City, having only recently moved in to the still-unfinished White House.