The database includes bibliographic citations for materials ranging from the
first . dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as
last semester. Citations for dissertations published from 1980 forward also
include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Citations for master's theses
from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. The full text of more than one
million of these titles is available in paper and microform formats. Institutional
subscribers to ProQuest Digital Dissertations receive on-line access to the
complete file of dissertations in digital format starting with titles published
from 1997 forward.
This service replaces DISSERTATION ABSTRACTS/COMPREHENSIVE DISSERTATION INDEX for all intents and purposes.
On March 5, 1770, a street confrontation resulted in British soldiers killing five civilians in what came to be known as the Boston Massacre .  The accused soldiers were arrested on criminal charges and had trouble finding legal representation. Adams ultimately agreed to defend them, though he feared that it would hurt his reputation. In arguing their case, Adams made his legendary statement regarding jury decisions: "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."  He also expounded upon Blackstone's Ratio : "It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, 'whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself is no protection,' and if such an idea as that were to take hold in the mind of the citizen that would be the end of security whatsoever." Adams won an acquittal for six of the soldiers. Two of them who had fired directly into the crowd were charged with murder but were convicted only of manslaughter. Adams was paid a small sum by his clients.  
In 1796, Adams defeated Thomas Pinckney and Thomas Jefferson and became the president of America succeeding George Washington . The threat of war with France, debate over foreign policy and the limits of descent, dominated the politics of his administration. Though he was inclined to conservative policies, he tried to balance the partisan contest between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson and his regime was torn between these partisan wrangles.