John Quincy Adams Biography
As a diplomat, he was involved in numerous international negotiations, and as Secretary of State, he participated in the creation of the Monroe Doctrine.
John Quincy Adams played a pivotal role during his term as President Monroe’s secretary of state.
Especially in the formulation of the foreign policy of the president known as the Monroe Doctrine.
Outstanding defender of freedom of expression and the abolitionist cause. The promoter of a nationalist economic program contrary to the interests of the landlords was harshly criticized by the political opposition in the Congress.
With a father turned into one of the main leaders of the rebellious colonies, and with a patriotic and very cultured mother who decisively influenced his character and education.
John Quincy Adams spent his first youth in the War of Independence. In the year 1778, with only eleven years of age.
Adams accompanied his father on a dangerous and important trip to Paris, whose goal was to seek help for the colonies.
Adams, apart from acquiring an impressive culture, got a great command of the French language and knew the European political reality.
In 1781, when he was just fourteen years old, he was appointed the private secretary of Francis Dana, the first American ambassador in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Before returning to the United States, Adams participated along with his father, as an adviser, in the peace negotiations that ended the War of Independence, in the year 1784.
Finally, Adams finished his law studies at Harvard University in 1787, the same year he joined the firm of the prestigious lawyer Theophilus Parsons.
Three years later, John Quincy Adams opened his own law firm in the elitist city of Boston.
John Quincy Adams had few achievements as president since his agenda was routinely blocked by his political enemies.
He arrived at the office with ambitious public improvement plans, which included the construction of canals and roads, and even the planning of a national observatory for the
study of the skies.
As president, Adams was probably ahead of his time. And although he may have been one of the smartest men to serve as president, he might seem aloof and arrogant.
Spouse and family
Adams married Louisa Catherine Johnson on July 26, 1797. They had three children, two of whom led scandalous lives. The third son, Charles Frances Adams, became ambassador of the United States and member of the House of Representatives of the United States.
Adams was the son of John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers and the second president of the United States, and Abigail Adams.
“Old Man Eloquent”, which was taken from a sonnet by John Milton.
When he took the presidential oath on March 4, 1825, Adams placed his hand in a law book of the United States. He is still the only president who does not use a Bible during the oath.
Beginnings in politics
In 1793 he was appointed by President George Washington diplomat in Holland. After some time he was sent to London to collaborate with John Jay in the negotiations with Great Britain, which culminated in the so-called Treaty of Jay.
Equally in 1797 he received the position of ambassador in Prussia. In 1801 he was elected to the Massachusetts Senate and two years later to the United States.
In 1809 President James Madison appointed him ambassador to Russia and in 1814 he negotiated in Ghent the treaty that ended the Anglo-American War.
Again he was appointed diplomat in Great Britain in 1815. In the year 1817, he was appointed by President James Monroe Secretary of State.
It forced Spain to cede Florida, it also modified the Louisiana border in the Transcontinental Treaty (Treaty Adams-Onis) signed in 1819.
Way to the presidency
In 1824 he was involved in a tough electoral competition for the presidency. After the voting, the candidate who received the most votes was with some difference Andrew Jackson, followed in that order, by J. Q. Adams, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay.
The fact that none had the majority and that the legal system did not contemplate the possibility of mechanisms such as the second round. They determined that the Senate had to make a decision about it. What then occurred was Clay’s support of Adams’ candidacy.
Clay’s favor was paid by appointment of Secretary of State in Adams’s cabinet, which caused sharp criticism of the new president.
Adams, who was the sixth president of the United States, was in charge from March 4, 1825, until March 3, 1829. He swore his office on a law book, instead of on the Bible, as usual.
John Quincy Adams left office on March 4, 1829, after losing the election in 1828. Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson, who had publicly snubbed him by not making the traditional “courtesy call” to the president. outgoing.
Adams became one of the three presidents who decided not to attend the investiture of his successor; the others were his father and Andrew Johnson.
Adams did not retire after leaving office but was presented by the Republican-Nationals to Congress, being elected in the 1830 elections.
He was the first President to be elected to Congress after his term. He was elected eight times, occupying his post of congressman for 17 years, from 1831 until his death.
The Political group
Lacking in kindness and too “aristocratic,” Adams refused to use presidential patronage to form a political group of supporters around him.
What made it possible for the Jacksonians to organize themselves conveniently to face it in the next presidential election of 1828, in which Adams was unreservedly defeated by the Democratic candidacy of Jackson, by 178 votes against 83.
Accused by his enemies as a corrupt politician, Adams retired to his home in Quincy, until 1831, when he was re-elected to the House of Representatives.
This position did not cease to occupy until February 21, 1848, the date of his death as a result of a stroke suffered in the same House.
In his last term as congressman, John Quincy Adams was known for his burning defense in the abolition of slavery in all states of the Union.
Demonstrating once again the high degree of freedom and individualism that he possessed in political matters, even going against his own party.
While preparing to address the House of Representatives on February 21, 1848, he fainted after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.
Two days later, on February 23, he died in the Capitol building in Washington D.C .. After the death of his wife, his son buried him with her in the family vault of the United First Parish Church. His parents are also buried there.
Although the presidency of John Quincy Adams was controversial, and in most cases was a failure, Adams did leave a mark in the history of the United States. The Monroe Doctrine is perhaps his greatest legacy.
He is best remembered, in modern times, for his opposition to slavery, and in particular his role in defending the slaves of the Amistad ship.
A great book I recommend is this.
- Robert V. Remini
- Times Books
- Edición Kindle
- Edition no. 1 (05/20/2014)