The Reign of John Quincy Adams as President of the United States: [Essay Example], 769 words GradesFixer
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The Reign of John Quincy Adams as President of the United States

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John Quincy Adams

Americas Sixth President

John Quincy Adams, born in Braintree Massachusetts in 1767, was the son of Americas second president, John Adams. John Q. Adams Political career was admirable. In many respects he paralleled the career as well as the temperament and viewpoints of his father. Many historians considered him, as was his father, an above average president. This fact is revealed in the following segments. Although many of these facts did not take place during his presidency, they all have to do with his political career.

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Administrative Ability: Upon becoming President, Adams appointed Clay as Secretary of State. Jackson and his angry followers charged that a “corrupt bargain” had taken place and immediately began their campaign to wrest the Presidency from Adams in 1828

Well aware that he would face hostility in Congress, Adams nevertheless proclaimed in his first Annual Message a spectacular national program. He proposed that the Federal Government bring the sections together with a network of highways and canals, and that it develop and conserve the public domain, using funds from the sale of public lands. In 1828, he broke ground for the 185-mile C & 0 Canal.

Government Relations: At age 26, in 1793, John Q. Adams was appointed by George Washington to be U.S. Minister to the Netherlands. This action took place because of a letter written by Adams that was published in a Boston newspaper which defended President Washingtons policy of neutrality against the diplomatic incursions of Citizen Genet, the new French Republic’s minister to the United States. Afterwards he was promoted to the Berlin Legation. In 1802 he was elected to the United States Senate as a Federalist. Six years later President Madison appointed him as the first minister of the United States to Russia. Serving under President Monroe, Adams was one of America’s great Secretaries of State, arranging with England for the joint occupation of the Oregon country, obtaining from Spain the cession of the Floridas, and formulating with the President the Monroe Doctrine.

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Unexpectedly, in 1830, the Plymouth district elected him to the House of Representatives, and there for the remainder of his life he served as a powerful leader. Above all, he fought against circumscription of civil liberties. This was a surprise because he was the only president to be elected to the House after his presidency.

In 1836 southern Congressmen passed a “gag rule” providing that the House automatically table petitions against slavery. Adams tirelessly fought the rule for eight years until finally he obtained its repeal.

Historical Period: During the four-year term of president John Q. Adams, not a whole lot went on in the country, in regards to notable events. In 1825, though, he got into a dispute for a possible conspiracy. He appointed Henry Clay as his secretary of state, which led to charges that Clay and Adams made a bargain in the election of 1824. This was only accused because the people running Andrew Jacksons campaign felt he should have been the successor to that job. Also in that same year the Erie Canal finished its development, made only possible by steps that president Adams took that year to assure its opening.

Political Know-How: John Quincy Adams was fully aware of his constitutional limits; nevertheless he felt he could bend these if it helped further the advance of education in the nation. Adams urged the United States to take a lead in the development of the arts and sciences through the establishment of a national university, the financing of scientific expeditions, and the erection of an observatory. His critics said such actions went beyond constitutional limitations.

The campaign of 1828, in which his Jacksonian opponents charged him with corruption and public plunder, was an ordeal Adams did not easily bear. Even though he was highly appreciated in his own political party, he was still defeated in that years Presidential Election.

Conclusion: John Quincy Adams may have been the greatest U.S. secretary of state, but he was not one of the greatest presidents. He was really a minority president, chosen by the House of Representatives in preference to Andrew Jackson and William H. Crawford following the inconclusive one-party election of 1824. In the popular contest Jackson had received the greatest number of votes both at the polls and in the state Electoral Collegesbut lacked a constitutional majority. This almost exactly sums up his presidency, it was good, but there were always catches. His political life as a whole though was excellent, possibly one of the greatest of all time.

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