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John Quincy Adams’ Early Life




To Jefferson, he wrote that he read it "with great satisfaction. Adams never owned a slave and declined on principle to utilize slave labor, saying, "I have, through my whole life, held the practice of slavery in such abhorrence, that I have never owned a negro or any other slave, though I have lived for many years in times, when the practice was not disgraceful, when the best men in my vicinity thought it not inconsistent with their character, and when it has cost me thousands of dollars for the labor and subsistence of free men, which I might have saved by the purchase of negroes at times when they were very cheap.

He spoke out in against a bill to emancipate slaves in Massachusetts, saying that the issue was presently too divisive, and so the legislation should "sleep for a time. Throughout his lifetime Adams expressed controversial and shifting views regarding the virtues of monarchical and hereditary political institutions.

Many of these attacks are considered to have been scurrilous, including suggestions that he was planning to "crown himself king" and "grooming John Quincy as heir to the throne. He was leaning toward monarchy and aristocracy as distinct from kings and aristocrats Decidedly, sometime after he became vice-president, Adams concluded that the United States would have to adopt a hereditary legislature and a monarch If you suppose that I have ever had a design or desire of attempting to introduce a government of King, Lords and Commons, or in other words an hereditary Executive, or an hereditary Senate, either into the government of the United States, or that of any individual state, in this country, you are wholly mistaken.

There is not such a thought expressed or intimated in any public writing or private letter of mine, and I may safely challenge all of mankind to produce such a passage and quote the chapter and verse. According to Luke Mayville, Adams synthesized two strands of thought: To counter that danger, the power of the wealthy needed to be channeled by institutions, and checked by a strong executive. Adams was raised a Congregationalist , since his ancestors were Puritans. According to biographer David McCullough , "as his family and friends knew, Adams was both a devout Christian, and an independent thinker, and he saw no conflict in that.

Everett concludes that "Adams strove for a religion based on a common sense sort of reasonableness" and maintained that religion must change and evolve toward perfection.

Adams at one point said that Christianity had originally been revelatory , but was being misinterpreted in the service of superstition, fraud, and unscrupulous power. Frazer notes that while he shared many perspectives with deists and often used deistic terminology, "Adams clearly was not a deist. Deism rejected any and all supernatural activity and intervention by God; consequently, deists did not believe in miracles or God's providence.

Adams, however, did believe in miracles, providence, and, to a certain extent, the Bible as revelation. In his retirement years, Adams moved away from some of the Puritan sentiments of his youth and closer to more mainstream Enlightenment religious ideals.

He blamed institutional Christianity for causing much suffering but continued to be an active Christian while maintaining that religion was necessary for society. He became a Unitarian , rejecting the divinity of Jesus. Holmes argued that Adams, while adopting central tenets of the Unitarian creed, accepted Jesus as the redeemer of humanity and the biblical accounts of his miracles as true.

Franklin summed up what many thought of Adams when he said, "He means well for his country, is always an honest man, often a wise one, but sometimes, and in some things, absolutely out of his senses. Adams strongly felt that he would be forgotten and underappreciated by history. These feelings often manifested themselves through envy and verbal attacks on other Founders. Historian George Herring argues that Adams was the most independent-minded of the Founders. I sighed, sobbed, and groaned, and sometimes screeched and screamed.

And I must confess to my shame and sorrow that I sometimes swore. His signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts is almost always condemned. According to Ferling, Adams's political philosophy was "out of step" with the way that the country was heading. The country tended further away from Adams's views of order and the rule of law and towards Jeffersonian ideas about liberty and weak central government.

In the years following his retirement from public life, as first Jeffersonianism and then Jacksonian democracy grew to dominate American politics, Adams was largely forgotten. In the presidential election , Whig candidate William Henry Harrison was attacked by Democrats on the false allegation that he had once been a supporter of John Adams. Pollard , a strong supported of the Confederacy during the American Civil War , singled out Adams, writing:.

The first President from the North, John Adams, asserted and essayed to put into practice the supremacy of the "National" power over the states and the citizens thereof.

He was sustained in his attempted usurpations by all the New England states and by a powerful public sentiment in each of the Middle States. The " strict constructionists " of the Constitution were not slow in raising the standard of opposition against a pernicious error.

In the 21st century, Adams remains less well known than many of America's other Founding Fathers. McCullough argued that "[t]he problem with Adams is that most Americans know nothing about him. Ferling says that the man who emerges is one "perpetually at war with himself," whose desire for fame and recognition leads to charges of vanity.

Ferling, in his biography, writes that "Adams was his own worst enemy. He praises Adams for his willingness to acknowledge his deficiencies and for striving to overcome them. McCullough lauds Adams for consistency and honesty, "plays down or explains away" his more controversial actions, such as the dispute over presidential titles and the predawn flight from the White House, and criticizes his friend and rival, Jefferson. The book sold very well and was very favorably received and, along with the Ferling biography, contributed to a rapid resurgence in Adams's reputation.

Adams is commemorated as the namesake of various counties, buildings, and other items. There is no memorial, no statue It's long past time when we should recognize what he did, and who he was. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the second president of the United States. For his son, the 6th president, see John Quincy Adams. For other uses, see John Adams disambiguation.

Diplomacy of John Adams. United States presidential election, Presidency of John Adams. Alien and Sedition Acts. List of federal judges appointed by John Adams. Bibliography of John Adams. List of memorials to John Adams. Hamilton's critics, including Abigail, saw in his military buildups the signs of an aspiring military dictator.

None ever understood so ill the causes of its own power, or so wantonly destroyed them. Kurtz argues that Hamilton and his supporters were primarily responsible for the destruction of the Federalist Party. They viewed the party as a personal tool and played into the hands of the Jeffersonians by building up a large standing army and creating a feud with Adams.

Chernow writes that Hamilton believed that by eliminating Adams, he could eventually pick up the pieces of the ruined Federalist Party and lead it back to dominance: And indeed it would have been inconsistent in creation to have formed man for the social state, and not to have provided virtue and wisdom enough to manage the concerns of society.

May we not even say that the form of government is best which provides most effectually for a pure selection of these natural [aristocrats] into the offices of government?

Birth and wealth are conferred on some men as imperiously by nature, as genius, strength, or beauty. When aristocracies are established by human laws and honour, wealth, and power are made hereditary by municipal laws and political institutions, then I acknowledge artificial aristocracy to commence. A good government had to account for that reality. Archived from the original on August 1, Retrieved December 5, Archived from the original on April 7, Retrieved June 7, Retrieved November 28, Archived from the original on April 15, Retrieved August 22, Archived from the original on June 14, Retrieved July 5, Archived from the original on September 6, Retrieved September 7, Adams Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Retrieved November 15, Archived PDF from the original on August 6, Retrieved October 8, Archived from the original on June 24, Retrieved September 22, Retrieved October 11, Archived from the original on March 24, The Works of Thomas Jefferson.

Embassy The Hague, Netherlands". Archived from the original on May 27, Retrieved September 18, Architect of the Capitol. Retrieved July 15, Retrieved on July 23, Retrieved September 29, Dave Leip's Atlas of U. Retrieved 18 July Retrieved August 18, Retrieved March 11, Retrieved August 3, Retrieved November 13, Retrieved September 26, Retrieved August 20, The New York Times. Retrieved October 17, Retrieved August 23, Avalon Project, Yale Law School. Retrieved August 29, President of the United States, [24 October ]".

Retrieved June 5, Archived from the original on September 9, Archived from the original on August 12, Retrieved June 29, Retrieved on August 15, Retrieved October 7, Retrieved December 28, United First Parish Church.

Archived from the original on September 11, Retrieved September 25, The First Hundred Years, — Retrieved July 28, Defence of the Constitutions, ". Archived from the original on January 25, Retrieved March 2, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved July 6, Archived from the original on February 3, Retrieved February 3, Archived PDF from the original on December 19, Archived from the original on July 30, Retrieved July 17, John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy.

The Political Theology of the American Founding. Retrieved October 30, Retrieved November 7, The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 10, Biographies Chinard, Gilbert Little, Brown, and Company.

The Character and Legacy of John Adams. University of Tennessee Press. Morse, John Torey Houghton, Mifflin, and Company. The Character of John Adams. The Declaration of Independence: Burns, James MacGregor How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World. The Age of Federalism. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Proceedings of the South Carolina Historical Association. The Ascent of George Washington: Flexner, James Thomas From colony to superpower: Origins of American Political Parties: University Press of Kentucky.

The Faiths of the Founding Fathers. The New England Quarterly. The Presidency of John Adams: The Collapse of Federalism, — University of Pennsylvania Press. Making the Declaration of Independence. The Presidency of George Washington. University Press of Kansas: University Press of Kansas.

Notes on the history of slavery in Massachusetts. The First Year of the War. John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty. What Made the Founders Different. A history of the Early Republic, — Adams, John; Adams, Charles Francis Essays and controversial papers of the Revolution. The Political Writings of John Adams: Diggins, John Patrick, ed.

The Portable John Adams. Multivolume letterpress edition of all letters to and from major members of the Adams family, plus their diaries; still incomplete. The University of North Carolina Press. The Political Writings of John Adams. Schutz and Douglass Adair, eds. The Thomas Paine Reader. Hogan, Margaret and C. Letters of Abigail and John Adams.

Harvard University Press, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents , reprints his major messages and reports. Papers of John Adams. Harvard University Press Wroth, L. Kinvin and Hiller B. The Legal Papers of John Adams. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, — U. United States presidential election — Postage stamps Adams Memorial. Adams grandson Charles Adams Sr. While Adams won the vice presidency in as well, he was not the candidate of the Federalist Party, which had not yet formed.

Technically, Adams was a presidential candidate in and Pinckney was a presidential candidate in Prior to the passage of the Twelfth Amendment in , each presidential elector could cast two ballots; the highest vote-getter would become president and the runner-up would become vice president.

Thus, in , with George Washington as the prohibitive favorite for president, the Federalist party fielded Adams as a presidential candidate, with the intention that he be elected to the vice presidency.

Similarly, in and , the Federalist party fielded two candidates, Adams and Thomas Pinckney, in and Adams and Charles Pinckney in , with the intention that Adams be elected president and Pinckney be elected vice president. Articles related to John Adams. Signers of the United States Declaration of Independence.

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Tompkins — John C. Johnson — John Tyler George M. Dallas — Millard Fillmore — William R. King John C. Wheeler — Chester A. Arthur Thomas A. Hendricks Levi P. Fairbanks — James S. Sherman — Thomas R. Marshall — Calvin Coolidge — Charles G.

Dawes — Charles Curtis — John N. Garner — Henry A. Wallace — Harry S. Truman Alben W. Barkley — Richard Nixon — Lyndon B. The Age of Enlightenment. Robert Boyle Edmund Burke. Ingersoll — James Buchanan — George M. Dallas — Charles Adams Sr. Phelps — Robert Todd Lincoln — Davis — George Harvey — Frank B. Kellogg — Alanson B. Houghton — Charles G. Dawes — Andrew W. Mellon — Robert Bingham — Joseph P. Kennedy — John G. Averell Harriman Lewis W. Douglas — Walter S. Gifford — Winthrop W. Bruce — Walter H.

Annenberg — Elliot L. Price II — Henry E. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. John Adams was a leader of the American Revolution, and served as the second U.

The Massachusetts-born, Harvard-educated Adams began his career as a lawyer. Intelligent, patriotic, opinionated and blunt, Adams became a critic of Great On this day in , John Quincy Adams, son of the second U. He accompanied his father on diplomatic missions from the time he was 14 and entered the legal He assumed office after the death of President William Henry Harrison , who passed away from pneumonia after just a month in the White House.

On this day in , just as he stands up from his desk in the House of Representatives to defend his no vote on a bill, former President John Quincy Adams suddenly collapses from a cerebral hemorrhage. Congressman and the sixth president of the United States. The only first lady born abroad, she met her husband while he was serving as a U.

Elected in as the 35th president of the United States, year-old John F. Kennedy became the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic to hold that office.

On this day in , John Adams, the son of a farmer and a descendant of Plymouth Rock pilgrims, is born in Braintree, Massachusetts. Adams did not fight in Abigail Adams was one of only two women to have been both wife and mother to two U. This website uses cookies for analytics, personalization, and advertising.

Click here to learn more or change your cookie settings. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies. Adams urged Rumyantsev to ask Alexander to act on behalf of the United States in securing the release of the American sailors and ships being held by the Danish.

The tsar ordered the Chancellor to request the release of the American property as soon as possible, which the Danish government complied with. Adams spent a great deal of time securing the release of American vessels and seamen from various "seizures and sequestrations. He declined the commission, however, [35] preferring to remain in St. In , Adams witnessed and reported the news of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and the latter's disastrous retreat.

Also in , Rumyantsev asked if he should request Alexander to mediate a pacification of hostilities between the United States and Great Britain. Bayard , arrived in St. Petersburg to begin negotiations under mediation by Alexander. Gallatin was at that time Secretary of Treasury and the Senate rejected his appointment to the diplomatic mission as unconstitutional. However, this rejection did not occur until after Gallatin and Bayard had left for St.

In September, Lord William Cathcart delivered a British message to Alexander explaining their reasons for declining the mediation. Thus ended President Madison's hope that Alexander could end the war. Louisa Adams served an invaluable role as wife-of-diplomat, becoming a favorite of the tsar and making up for her husband's utter lack of charm. The tsar asked Adams if he would be taking a house in the country over the summer. When Adams hesitated, the emperor stated with good humor that perhaps it was a financial consideration and Adams was able to respond in kind that it indeed was in large part.

Adams was a man who endeavored to live within the means provided by the American government. In , Adams was recalled from Russia to serve as chief negotiator of the U.

The United Kingdom's first peace offer in mid was unacceptable to the American delegation, as it included unfavorable terms such as the creation of an Indian barrier state out of parts of the northwestern United States. By November , the government of Lord Liverpool decided to seek an end to hostilities with the U. Adams and his fellow commissioners had hoped for similar terms, though a return to the status quo would mean the continuation of British practice of impressment , which had been a major cause of the war.

The treaty was signed on December 24, The United States did not gain any concessions from the treaty, but could boast that it had survived a war against the strongest power in the world. Following the signing of the treaty, Adams traveled to Paris, where he witnessed first-hand the Hundred Days of Napoleon's restoration.

During this period, Adams learned that President Madison had appointed him as the minister to the Court of St. Adams arrived in Britain in May Legation consisting of himself, two young secretaries and a small office in Craven Street, near Charing Cross.

Following the conclusion of the trade agreement, much of Adams's time as ambassador was spent helping stranded American sailors and prisoners of war. In pursuit of national unity, President Monroe decided a Northerner would be optimal for the position of Secretary of State , and he chose the respected and experienced Adams for the role. Taking office in the aftermath of the War of , Adams thought that the country had been fortunate in avoiding territorial losses, and he prioritized avoiding another war with a European power, particularly Britain.

Adams had begun negotiations with Britain during his time as ambassador over several contentious issues that had not been solved by the War of or the Treaty of Ghent.

In , the two countries agreed to the Rush—Bagot Treaty , which limited naval armaments on the Great Lakes. Negotiations between the two powers continued, resulting in the Treaty of , which defined the Canada—United States border west of the Great Lakes.

The boundary was set at the 49th parallel to the Rocky Mountains , while the territory to the west of the mountains Oregon Country would be jointly occupied. In the South, Spain retained control of Florida , which the U. Spain struggled to control the Native American tribes active in Florida, some of which raided U. In the West, New Spain bordered the territory purchased by the U. Adams hoped to set the U. The negotiations were interrupted by an escalation of the Seminole War , and in December Monroe ordered General Andrew Jackson to enter Florida and retaliate against Seminoles that had raided Georgia.

Exceeding his orders, Jackson defeated the Seminoles, but also captured the Spanish outposts of St. Marks and Pensacola and executed two Englishmen. While the rest of the cabinet was outraged by Jackson's actions, Adams defended them as necessary to self-defense and protected by international law, and Adams eventually convinced Monroe and most of the cabinet to support Jackson. The treaty was ratified in February As the Spanish Empire continued to fracture during Monroe's second term, Adams and Monroe became increasingly concerned that the " Holy Alliance " which consisted of Prussia , Austria , and Russia would seek to bring Spain's erstwhile colonies under control.

The cabinet debated whether or not to accept the offer, but Adams opposed it. Instead, Adams urged Monroe to publicly declare U. Adams wrote a draft for Monroe that stated these principles and also proclaimed U.

In his December annual message to Congress , Monroe laid out the Monroe Doctrine , which was largely built upon Adams's ideas. The doctrine became one of the foundational principles of U. Immediately upon becoming Secretary of State, Adams emerged as one of Monroe's most likely successors, as the last three presidents had all served in the role although Jefferson also served as vice president before taking office.

Calhoun , and Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford positioned themselves to succeed Monroe. Adams felt that his own election as president would vindicate his father, while also allowing him to pursue an ambitious domestic policy. Though he lacked the charisma of his competitors, Adams was widely respected and benefited from the lack of other prominent Northerners.

The Federalist Party had nearly collapsed in the aftermath of the War of , and all of the major presidential candidates were members of Monroe's Democratic-Republican Party.

As approached, Jackson jumped into the race, motivated in large part by his anger over Clay and Crawford's denunciations of his actions in Florida. Candidates were instead nominated by state legislatures or nominating conventions, and Adams received the endorsement of several New England legislatures. The remaining candidates relied heavily on regional strength. Adams was popular in New England, Clay and Jackson were strong in the West, and Jackson and Crawford competed for the South, despite the latter's health problems.

In the presidential election, no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, necessitating a contingent election under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment. The House decided among the top three electoral vote winners, with each state's delegation having one vote. The top three electoral vote winners were Jackson, Adams, and Crawford; though Clay had also received electoral votes, he was not eligible to be selected by the House. Adams knew that his own victory in the contingent election would require the support of Clay, who besides being a presidential contender also had accumulated immense influence in the House and had thrice served as the body's speaker.

In contrast with Clay, Crawford believed in a weak, limited federal government. Jackson's policy views were unclear, but Clay had been outraged by Jackson's actions in Florida, and he feared what Jackson would do in office. Clay's American System called for high tariffs , federally-funded internal improvements , and a national bank , all of which were supported by Adams. Adams and Clay met prior to the contingent election, and Clay agreed to support Adams. In February Adams won the contingent election, taking thirteen of the twenty-four state delegations.

After the election, many of Jackson's supporters claimed that Adams and Clay had reached a " Corrupt Bargain " in which Adams promised Clay the position of Secretary of State in return for Clay's support. Adams was inaugurated on March 4, He took the oath of office on a book of constitutional law , instead of the more traditional Bible. He also proposed an elaborate program of "internal improvements": Though some worried about the constitutionality of such federal projects, Adams argued that the General Welfare Clause provided for broad constitutional authority.

While his predecessors had engaged in projects like the building of the National Road , Adams promised that he would ask Congress to authorize many more such projects. Adams nominated John J. Crittenden to replace Trimble, but the Senate never voted on Crittenden's nomination.

In his annual message to Congress, Adams presented a comprehensive and ambitious agenda. He called for major investments in internal improvements as well as the creation of a national university, a naval academy, and a national astronomical observatory. Noting the healthy status of the treasury and the possibility for more revenue via land sales, Adams argued for the completion of several projects that were in various stages of construction or planning, including a road from Washington to New Orleans.

Many disagreed with his broad interpretation of the constitution, and favored stronger state governments at the expense of the federal government. Others disliked any government interference and were opposed to central planning. Some of his proposals were adopted, specifically the extension of the Cumberland Road into Ohio with surveys for its continuation west to St.

After signing the tariff, Adams was denounced in the South, but received little credit for the tariff in the North. Adams sought the gradual assimilation of Native Americans via consensual agreements, a priority shared by few whites in the s.

Yet Adams was also deeply committed to the westward expansion of the United States. Settlers on the frontier, who were constantly seeking to move westward, cried for a more expansionist policy that disregarded the concerns of a supposedly inferior civilization. Troup refused to accept its terms, and authorized all Georgian citizens to evict the Muskogee. A third treaty was signed in , giving all of the Muskogee land to Georgia. According to Charles Edel, Adams believed that, "Intervention would accomplish little, retard the cause of republicanism, and distract the country from its primary goal of continental expansion.

During his term as president, Adams achieved little of long-term consequence in foreign affairs. A reason for this was the opposition he faced in Congress, where his rivals prevented him from succeeding. However, thanks to the successes of Adams's diplomacy during his previous eight years as secretary of state, most of the foreign policy issues he would have faced had been resolved by the time he became president.

As president, Adams continued to pursue the peaceful settlement of potential disputes with Britain, including the unsettled border between Maine and Canada. However, in , Britain banned U. Adams favored sending a U. Adams sought closer ties with the new Latin American states, believing that stability among the new states would benefit the U.

During his presidency, Adams's opponents coalesced around Jackson. Opponents accused Adams of favoring big government, the Northeast, manufacturing, and abolition. Followers of Jackson, Van Buren, and Calhoun formed a proto-party apparatus, raising large sums of money and sponsoring newspapers and local clubs. In the spring of , Jackson was publicly accused of having encouraged his wife to desert her first husband.

This represented the first time in U. The key states in the election were New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, which accounted for nearly a third of the country's electoral votes.

He also won a majority of the electoral votes in New York, and denied Adams a sweep of New England by winning an electoral vote in Maine. In total, Jackson won of the electoral votes and just under 56 percent of the popular vote. No future presidential candidate would match Jackson's proportion of the popular vote until Theodore Roosevelt exceeded it in Adams's loss made him the second one-term president, after his own father.

John Quincy Adams left office on March 4, Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson, who had openly snubbed him by refusing to pay the traditional "courtesy call" to the outgoing president during the weeks before his own inauguration.

Adams considered permanently retiring from public life after his defeat, and he was deeply hurt by the suicide of his son, George Washington Adams , in He was elected to nine terms, serving as a Representative for 17 years, from until his death. Returning to Washington at the age of sixty-four, Adams expected a light workload, but Speaker Andrew Stevenson selected Adams chairman of the Committee on Commerce and Manufactures. Shortly after Adams entered Congress, the Nullification Crisis threatened civil war over the Tariff of Clay and Adams offered an amendment moderating the tariff, and defused the crisis.

Congress also passed the Force Bill which authorized President Andrew Jackson to use military force if Adams's compromise bill did not force the belligerent states to capitulate. There was no need, however, because Adams's compromise remedied the matter. The compromise actually did not alter the tariff as much as the southern states had hoped, though they agreed not to continue pursuing the issue for fear of civil war.

Adams ran for Governor of Massachusetts in on the Anti-Masonic ticket. Allen of the Working Men's Party. Because no candidate had won a majority, the election was decided by the state legislature.

Adams withdrew and endorsed Davis, preferring him over Morton, and Davis was chosen in January Adams opposed the annexation of Texas , viewing as unconstitutional the imposition of U. Polk signed the Oregon Treaty , which divided the land between the two claimants at the 49th parallel.

A longtime opponent of slavery, Adams used his new role in Congress to fight it, and he became the most prominent national leader opposing slavery. The discussion of this Missouri question has betrayed the secret of their souls. In the abstract they admit that slavery is an evil, they disclaim it, and cast it all upon the shoulder of…Great Britain.

But when probed to the quick upon it, they show at the bottom of their souls pride and vainglory in their condition of masterdom. They look down upon the simplicity of a Yankee's manners, because he has no habits of overbearing like theirs and cannot treat negroes like dogs. It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice: In , partially in response to Adams' consistent presentation of citizen petitions requesting the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia , Southern Representatives voted in a " gag rule " that immediately tabled any petitions about slavery.

Adams became a forceful opponent of this rule and conceived a way around it, attacking slavery in the House for two weeks.

It was a petition from a Georgia citizen urging disunion due to the continuation of slavery in the South. Though he certainly did not support it and made that clear at the time, his intent was to antagonize the pro-slavery faction of Congress into an open fight on the matter. They moved for his censure over the matter, enabling Adams to discuss slavery openly during his subsequent defense. Taking advantage of his right to defend himself, Adams delivered prepared and impromptu remarks against slavery and in favor of abolition.

He decided that if he were censured, he would merely resign, run for the office again, and probably win easily. Adams made sure this did not happen, and the debate continued. He attacked slavery and slaveholders as immoral, and condemned the institution while calling for it to end. He delighted in the misery he was inflicting on the slaveholders he so hated, and prided himself on being "obnoxious to the slave faction. Adams went before the Supreme Court on behalf of African slaves who had revolted and seized the Spanish ship Amistad.

Adams appeared on 24 February , and spoke for four hours. His argument succeeded; the Court ruled in favor of the Africans, who were declared free and returned to their homes. In the following years, the Spanish government continued to press the US for compensation for the ship and its cargo, including the slaves.

Several southern lawmakers introduced Congressional resolutions to appropriate money for such payment, but none passed, despite support from Democratic presidents James K. Polk and James Buchanan. Adams continued to speak against what he called the " Slave Power ", that is the organized political power of the slave owners who dominated all the southern states and their representation in Congress. Douglas , who he accused of catering to the slave faction in exchange for southern support.

Adams also became a leading force for the promotion of science. As president, he had proposed a national observatory, which did not win much support. In British scientist James Smithson died, and left his fortune for the "increase and diffusion of knowledge. Adams realized that this might allow the United States to realize his dream of building a national institution of science and learning. Adams thus became Congress's primary supporter of the future Smithsonian Institution.

The money was invested in shaky state bonds, which quickly defaulted. After heated debate in Congress, Adams successfully argued to restore the lost funds with interest.


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John Quincy Adams (/ ˈ k w ɪ n z i / (listen); July 11, – February 23, ) was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from to at the peak of a political career during which he served in various capacities as diplomat, United States Senator, United States Secretary of State, and U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

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John Quincy Adams was the ultimate diplomat for the United States. He was the son of America's second president, John Adams. Like his father before him, he only served one term as president.

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John Quincy Adams, son of John and Abigail Adams, served as the sixth President of the United States from to A member of multiple political parties over the years, he also served as a diplomat, a Senator, and a member of the House of Representatives. John Quincy Adams went on to win the presidency in a highly contentious election in , and served only one term. Outspoken in his opposition to slavery and in support of freedom of speech, Adams was elected to the House of Representatives in ; he would serve until his death in

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Watch video · John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States. He was also the eldest son of President John Adams, the second U.S. president. John Quincy Adams was an American hereoupxh0.gq also served as a diplomat, minister and ambassador to the foreign nations, and a treaty negotiator. 3 votes5/5(2).