Friday, March 8, 2013

John Quincy Adams

Our sixth Presidential Friday takes us to John Quincy Adams. Throughout his life, he belonged to three different political parties: Federalist, Democratic-Republican, and Whig.


He was a one-term President, winning the 1824 election against Andrew Jackson, but then losing the 1828 election to Jackson. As  was common in the early 19th century, Adams was considered the political heir to the presidency since his father, John Adams, had also been president, but there was vision amongst his party, the (Democratic-)Republicans.

As President, he decreased the national debt from $16 million to $5 million. He enforced high tariffs and attempted to slow down the American's rapid movement westward. In doing so, he provided an increased measure of safety to the Native Americans settled in those lands, earning him criticism from expansionists. He was also ardently opposed to slavery, and therefore many proponents of states rights within the Congress shot down his proposals.

Election of 1828

He was the mastermind behind the Monroe Doctrine and favored not involving the US in foreign wars. However, he is remembered as a strong diplomat, forming beneficial and reciprocal relations with many nations such as those in Northern Europe. Overall, he was an independent mind, not wishing to be bound by things such as party and dissenting Congress members. He faced large opposition from political members who favored Jackson, and when Jackson won the 1828 election, Adams did not attend his inauguration, partly in response to Jackson's failure to give him a "courtesy call" in Adam's outgoing weeks. By this action, he became one of an exclusive group of presidents (excluding those who died in office) to not attend their successors' inauguration, his father being another president of that group.

Sources: Miller Center,, White, Wikipedia

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