Born in Braintree/Quincy, MA to Abigail Adams and John Adams in 1767.
The only son of a president to become president until George W. Bush. John Quincy Adams watched the American Revolution as a boy and traveled as his father's secretary. Adams served as Minister (Ambassador) to the Netherlands and Russia (at ages 26 and 32, respectively). Adams served one term as a Senator between these appointments. Adams served as Secretary of State for President John Monroe and assisted in the creation of the Monroe doctrine and the treaty over mutual control of Oregon. Perhaps Adam's most impressive feat was the acquisition of Florida. The colonies of East and West Florida were officially controlled by the Spanish. The weakening of the Spanish Empire by the Napoleanic Wars, along with the rebellions of Spanish-American nations, meant that Spain could not control the primarily British/American colonists. General Andrew Jackson raided the Florida colonies in responce to Seminole raids into Georgia and executed several British citizens for "inciting" the Native Americans. Adams did not condemn the raids both because they were popular and because they weakened the Spanish position. He challenged the Spanish to control Florida or cede it to the US. In the end, the US bought "East" Florida for 5 million dollars. The treaty also ceded Spanish claim to Oregon (which then included Washington and some of British Columbia), and "West Florida" (much of Alabama and Mississippi) and more strictly defined the border between Spanish controlled Mexico and the Louisiana Purchase.

Adams was seen as the heir-apparent of the Presidency in 1824 as the Secretary of State of the previous President. However, when Adams, Henry Clay, William H. Crawford and Andrew Jackson each failed to receive the necessary electoral votes. The House of Representatives was to decide between the three top candidates (Clay, Jackson and Adams). Clay through his support to Adams due to a similar agenda and in exchange for an appointment as Secretary of State.

Adam's Presidency was hampered by a nearly hostile Congress and opposition to his radical positions. Adams wished to fund a national highway system, an national university, and widespread canals.

Jackson won the 1828 election and Adams returned to Massachusetts. Two years later he returned to Washington as the Congressman representing Plymouth.

For the next 17 years he served. His greatest concern for much of that time was slavery. He opposed the Texas annexation and supported the Oregon annexation due to their positions of slavery. He constantly strove to oppose the expansion of slavery into the new territories, to eliminate it in D.C. and to recognize the right of the people to petition for the abolition of slavery. Adams also opposed the Mexican-American War calling it unjust. While arguing against the awarding of "swords of honor" to generals of that war, John Quincy Adams had a stroke. He was moved from the floor of the Capitol and died two days later.

The eldest son of John Adams, second president of the United States, John Quincy Adams was brought up in a climate of political knowledge and public service that has some historians referring to him as the most experienced and intelligent president in the history of the nation.

Adams was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1802. A Federalist from Massachusetts, his independent thinking resulted in partisan attacks by the Federalists after he supported the policies of Thomas Jefferson during the Napoleonic Wars. He resigned before the end of his term and was then appointed to numerous diplomatic posts. He was a key player in the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812, and was responsible for drafting the Monroe Doctrine as secretary of state. He was also responsible for the acquisition of Florida from Spain.

In the presidential election of 1824, Adams was one of four candidates for the office. None of the candidates was able to secure the electoral college majority required for election. The resulting events became known as the "corrupt bargain" as charged by opponent Andrew Jackson. Because Jackson held 43.1 percent of the popular vote and 99 electoral votes to Adams' 30.5 percent and 84 votes, Jackson believed the election should have been his. Instead, Henry Clay, the presidential candidate from Kentucky, threw his support to Adams once the vote went to the House of Representatives. Adams then won the election, after which a newspaper charged that Clay's support came only after a promise that he would be made secretary of state in the Adams administration.

A result of the "corrupt bargain" charges, John Quincy Adams' presidency suffered constant partisan attacks that kept him from achieving any of his major goals. His ideas were considered either too radical or ahead of their time, especially in regards to the federal government playing a role in the development of the nation. Adams proposed national planning policies that, had they been passed, would have resulted in federally funded canals, turnpikes and other improvements to the national infrastructure. He supported a national banking system, formation of a national university and government support for scientific research.

Attacked as an aristocrat who used influence to steal the presidency from Andrew Jackson, Adams was able to achieve very little and lost his re-election bid to Jackson in 1828. His policies and platforms became the basis for the formation of the Whig party. Adams was elected in 1831 to the House of Representatives where he became effective in his fight against a southern-dominated House to allow petitions from anti-slavery groups to be heard.

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