John Quincy Adams (March 4, 1831 - February 23, 1848)

John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 - February 23, 1848) was a diplomat, politician, and the sixth President of the United States. His party affiliations were Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig. Adams was the son of United States President John Adams and Abigail Adams. He is most famous as a diplomat involved in many international negotiations, and for formulating the Monroe Doctrine. As president he proposed a grand program of modernization and educational advancement, but was unable to get it through Congress. Late in life, as a Congressman, he was a leading opponent of the Slave Power, arguing that if a civil war ever broke out the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers, a policy followed by Abraham Lincoln in the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

During his term, he worked on developing the American System, consisting of a high tariff to support internal improvements such as road-building, and a national bank to encourage productive enterprise and form a national currency. In his first annual message to Congress, Adams presented an ambitious program for modernization that included roads, canals, a national university, an astronomical observatory, and other initiatives. The support for his proposals was limited, even from his own supporters. His critics accused him of unseemly arrogance because of his narrow victory. Most of his initiatives were opposed in Congress by Jackson's supporters, who remained outraged over the 1824 election.

Nevertheless, some of his proposals were adopted, specifically the extension of the Cumberland Road into Ohio with surveys for its continuation west to St. Louis; the beginning of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal' the construction of the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal and the Portland to Louisville Canal around the falls of the Ohio; the connection of the Great Lakes to the Ohio River system in Ohio and Indiana; and the enlargement and rebuilding of the Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina.¹

Quotes

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

"Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."

"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ John Quincy Adams - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Books on John Quincy Adams
Biography of John Quincy Adams
Essays on John Quincy Adams and His Administration
POTUS: John Quincy Adams

 


 
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