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Between and , Adams served as Minister to the Netherlands, Germany, and Russia, where he persuaded Czar Alexander to allow American ships to trade in Russian ports.

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In , he led the U. Serving in that position until , Adams played a crucial role in creating the Monroe Doctrine, which warned European nations not to meddle in the affairs of the Americas. He also negotiated agreements that guaranteed U. He was later elected to nine consecutive terms in the U.

House of Representatives, the only President to do so. Skip navigation Visit diplomacy. Show All Learn about the people, places, and issues that make up U.

Ever since the acquisition of Louisiana , successive administrations had sought to include at least a part of Florida in that purchase. In , after long negotiations, Adams succeeded in getting the Spanish minister to agree to a treaty in which Spain would abandon all claims to territory east of the Mississippi River , the United States would relinquish all claims to what is now Texas , and a boundary of the United States would be drawn for the first time from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

This Transcontinental Treaty was perhaps the greatest victory ever won by a single man in the diplomatic history of the United States. Before the Spanish government ratified the Transcontinental Treaty in , however, Mexico including Texas had thrown off allegiance to the mother country, and the United States had occupied Florida by force of arms. The Monroe Doctrine rightly bears the name of the president who in assumed the responsibility for its promulgation, but its formulation was the work of John Quincy Adams more than of any other single man.

Calhoun , and Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford —aspired to succeed him. Calhoun was nominated for the vice presidency.

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John Quincy Adams - HISTORY

Of the other four, Jackson received 99 electoral votes for the presidency, Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37; because no one had a majority, the decision was made by the House of Representatives , which was confined in its choice to the three candidates who had received the largest number of votes. Clay, who had for years assumed a censorious attitude toward Jackson, cast his influence for Adams, whose election was thereby secured on the first ballot.

A few days later Adams offered Clay the office of secretary of state, which he accepted. Once he almost drowned as the sleeves of his blouse filled with water and weighed him down. But he knew he was not a man of the people.

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Congress turned a generally deaf ear to his initiatives. When Harvard College in awarded Jackson an honorary degree, Adams refused to attend the ceremony at his alma mater.

John Quincy Adams’ Early Life

Adams had retired to private life in in the Massachusetts town of Quincy, but only for a brief period; in , supported largely by members of the Anti-Masonic movement a political force formed initially in opposition to Freemasonry , he was elected a member of the national House of Representatives. When it was suggested to him that his acceptance of this position would degrade a former president, Adams replied that no person could be degraded by serving the people as a representative in Congress or a selectman of his town. He served in the House of Representatives from until his death, in Throughout, he was conspicuous as an opponent of the expansion of slavery and was at heart an abolitionist , though he never became one in the political sense of the word.

In he presented to the House of Representatives a resolution for a constitutional amendment providing that every child born in the United States after July 4, , should be born free; that, with the exception of Florida, no new state should be admitted into the Union with slavery; and that neither slavery nor the slave trade should exist in the District of Columbia after July 4, His prolonged fight for the repeal of the gag rules and for the right of petition to Congress for the mitigation or abolition of slavery was one of the most dramatic contests in the history of Congress.

These petitions, from individuals and groups of individuals from all over the Northern states, increasingly were sent to Adams, and he dutifully presented them. Adams contended that the gag rules were a direct violation of the First Amendment to the federal Constitution , and he refused to be silenced on the question, fighting indomitably for repeal in spite of the bitter denunciation of his opponents. Each year the number of antislavery petitions received and presented by him grew greatly.

Perhaps the climax was in when Adams presented a petition from 22 slaves and, threatened by his opponents with censure , defended himself with remarkable keenness and ability. At each session the majority against him decreased until, in , his motion to repeal the standing 21st gag rule of the House was carried by a vote of to 80, and his long battle was over. Another spectacular contribution by Adams to the antislavery cause was his championing of the cause of Africans arrested aboard the slave ship Amistad —slaves who had mutinied and escaped from their Spanish owners off the coast of Cuba and had wound up bringing the ship into United States waters near Long Island , New York.

Adams defended them as freemen before the Supreme Court in against efforts of the administration of President Martin Van Buren to return them to their masters and to inevitable death. Adams won their freedom. As a member of Congress—in fact, throughout his life—Adams supported the improvement of the arts and sciences and the diffusion of knowledge.

His obsequies in Washington and in his native Massachusetts assumed the character of a nationwide pageant of mourning. Senator Thomas Hart Benton , the main eulogist at the service in the Capitol, asked: Few men in American public life have possessed more independence, more public spirit, and more ability than did Adams. Still, throughout his political career he was handicapped by a certain personal reserve and austerity and coolness of manner that prevented him from appealing to the imaginations and affections of the people.


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He had few intimate friends, and not many men in American history have been regarded, during their lifetimes, with so much hostility or attacked with so much rancour by their political opponents. The table provides a list of cabinet members in the administration of President John Quincy Adams. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval.

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Oct 26, See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: In contrast to many countries with parliamentary forms of government, where the office of president, or head of state, is mainly ceremonial, in the United States the president is vested with great authority and is arguably….

Jackson, Adams, and Henry Clay eventually joined Crawford in contesting the subsequent presidential election, in which Jackson received the most popular and electoral votes but was denied the presidency by the House of Representatives which selected Adams after he…. King Caucus presidential election of In United States presidential election of Political career View More.

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The presidency of John Quincy Adams

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