John Adams had three distinct careers, each very important to the early development of the United States: a foe of British oppression and champion of independence, 1761-1777; American diplomat in Europe, 1778-1788; and, as the first U.S. vice president and second president, 1789-1801. Adams entered Harvard University in 1751, and after years of intensive reading began a law practice in 1762. He married Abigail Smith two years later; a marriage that lasted 54 years. Although a staunch patriot, he was defense attorney for British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre in 1770, while speaking out against mob violence and other signs of social disintegration. Adams was a delegate to the Continental Congress and was so articulate that Thomas Jefferson referred to him as the "Colossus of Independence." Adams helped draft the Declaration of Independence. He spent time as American commissioner to France, returning in time to help draft the Massachusetts constitution. He returned to France in 1778 as a commissioner to seek peace with Britain. Following quarrels with Benjamin Franklin and French officials, he left for the Netherlands where he secured Dutch recognition of American independence and a substantial loan. Adams returned to France to assist in negotiations leading to the Treaty of Paris of September 3, 1783. He was appointed the first American minister to Britain, presenting his credentials to King George III in 1785. He returned to the United States in 1788. He supported Washington's presidency and Alexander Hamilton's fiscal policies. Adams' presidency was a troubled one, particularly with strained relations with France and the XYZ Affair and the adoption of the Alien and Sedition Acts. The latter led to severe opposition by Jefferson and his own Federalist Party. Adams was forced from office after one term as president.