John Quincy Adams

Achievements of Great Importance During the Presidency of Iconic Figure John Quincy Adams

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Presidency of John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, was the son of the second president, John Adams, making him the first son of a president to actually become president himself. Born in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1767, he watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from the top of Penn’s Hill above the family farm. As he grew up with the new nation, his parents literally trained him for the highest office. During his long lifetime he had two distinguishable careers, separated by an unfortunate interlude of presidency. In his first career, he went from an American diplomat to secretary of state. In his second great era, he was a member of the House of Representatives and a strong opponent to slavery. These two positions were interrupted by his four-year presidency, in which time the states rested very uneasily upon his shoulders. Never publicly popular and often reproached by his enemies, John Quincy Adams nevertheless ended his life in the “sunshine of national esteem.”

As a young boy, Adams obtained most of his lustrous education from his mother and father. At the age of ten he began to accompany his father on diplomatic trips to Europe, where he learned French fluently, and eventually studied at the University of Leiden. Extraordinarily cultured and educated, he returned to the U.S. in 1785 to finish his formal education at Harvard. Five years later he settled down in Boston to practice law.

At some point during his law profession, Adams began writing articles in local newspapers defending George Washington’s policy of neutrality against the diplomatic attacks of Citizen Guret, the new French minister to the United States. This luckily caught Washington’s attention, and he in turn appointed Adams as minister to The Netherlands. Later he was promoted to minister of Berlin. While negotiating about the Jay Treaty in England, he married Louisa Catherine Johnson on July 26, 1797.

Adams was relieved of his post by his father immediately following Jefferson’s election in 1801. He resumed his law career for a couple of years, only to be elected as a Federalist to the U.S. Senate in 1803. The federalist leaders of Massachusetts were deeply dismayed by Adams’ independent course as senator, and as a result, recanted him by electing a successor two years early. He went back to practicing law and served as a professor at Harvard, when in 1809, President Madison appointed him as the first Prime Minister of the United States to Russia.

During this time, the War of 1812 broke out between Britain and the United States. After abortive attempts at mediation, Adams was called to the peace negotiations at Ghent, where he was technically the chief of the American mission. Because of his outstanding performance, he was soon after appointed as minister to Britain.

As a diplomat, it is fair to say that John Quincy Adams made very few mistakes, and influenced many people. His vast European experience made him a vigorous supporter of the policy of isolation from the ordinary novelties, combinations, and wars of European politics.

In 1817, Adams was called from England by President Monroe to become Secretary of State, where he remained throughout Monroe’s two consecutive terms. As secretary, he pursued policies and principles that helped to perfect the foundation of America’s foreign policies, including the Monroe Doctrine. Adams’ greatest diplomatic achievement as secretary was undoubtedly the Transcontinental Treaty with Spain, signed on February 22, 1819. By this treaty, Spain acknowledged East Florida and West Florida to be a part of the United States, and agreed to a frontier line that ran from the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains, and along the 42 degree parallel line to the Pacific Ocean. In this negotiation, Adams took skillful advantage of Andrew Jackson’s military raids into Florida and also of Spain’s humiliation of the rebellions of her American colonies. Because of this treaty, Columbia, Mexico, Chile, the United Province of the Rio de la Plata, and later Brazil were recognized as independent states from Spain. Peru remained to be recognized by Adams himself, when he served as Monroe’s successor. The idea of drawing the frontier line through to the other ocean was is own inspiration. It has been called “the greatest diplomatic victory ever won by a single individual in the history of the United States.” At the same time he defended the northeastern frontier against the English, and held the line of 49 degrees in the Oregon country. He was perhaps the greatest secretary of state in the history of this country.

John Quincy Adams may have been one of the greatest secretaries, but the same is certainly not true for his presidency. He was actually a minority president, only chosen by the House of Representatives in preference of Andrew Jackson. In the election, Jackson actually got the majority vote at the polls and at the state electoral colleges, but lacked a constitutional majority. So, in 1825 when Henry Clay threw his support to Adams in the House, he became president. Soon after he was elected, he appointed Clay to secretary of state, raising high suspicion that the two had had a “corrupt bargain.” The judgement of most historians is that there was indeed a bargain, but no corruption was involved.

Adams’ policy was to exercise national power to make freedom more flourishing for the people. In order to accomplish this, he called for strong national policies under executive leadership. Some of his famous policies include the Bank of the United States as a device for national fiscal authority, a national tariff to protect domestic industries, administration of land for settlement, protection for native Americans, improvement on internal physical structures (highways, train system, canals, etc), and a move toward federal encouragement in education. Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt played out his outlook almost a century later.

Adams as a president was too far in advance for his time. The loose democracy of the day wanted the least amount of federal power possible, and the South feared that his program might pave the way for abolition of slavery. Also, he had no real party to back him up during his presidency. The opposition, with Andrew Jackson at its head and “Bargain and Corruption” as their battle cry, combined to defeat him for reelection in 1828.

Almost two years after his term was up, the twelfth district in Massachusetts elected Adams to Congress. He eagerly accepted the position, feeling not as a party member, but as an ex-president, a representative for the entire country. Here he displayed the most spectacular phase of his lifelong career of public service. He evangelized a strong nationalism against the states rights and pro-slavery John Calhoun. He never claimed to be an abolitionist, only that he was “bonded by the constitution and its political compromises to work for universal emancipation.” He single-handedly fought against the annexation of Texas and actually did delay the process himself. However hard he fought, he still saw the state welcomed into the country after the election of James Polk in 1844.

He also tried to introduce constitutional amendments to congress so that no one could be born a slave in the United States, but the “gag rule” prevented the discussion of anything relating to slavery. Eventually Adams used the freedom of assembly to overthrow this. An abolitionist at heart but not in practice, Adams tried to postpone the issue of slavery until the North was strong enough and sufficiently united to preserve the Union and abolish slavery by martial law, if necessary.

John Quincy Adams, nicknamed “Old Man Eloquent,” was the most illustrious example of the scholar in politics before Woodrow Wilson. During all of his controversies, he continuously forebode the sentiments of his own constituents. His fellow citizens regularly elected him to Congress from 1830 until he died in the House on February 23, 1848. Of his three sons, only the youngest, Charles Francis Adams, survived him. Charles served as minister to Britain under Lincoln, while him and his three sons continued to carry out the long line of traditions of the Adams family.

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Iconic Figures Benjamin Franklin and John Quincy Adams and Their Vision of a Successful America

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Benjamin Franklin and John Quincy Adams – these two mortal men laid the foundation for the great American nation. Since his own lifetime, Benjamin Franklin has been an American icon for success. During his life, many deemed Franklin the greatest man of the new world, and perhaps the best known in the entire world. Today, his portrait centers the American $100 bill. Franklin worked hard for his success and earned the rewards of fame and fortune accordingly. While alive, Franklin lobbied for “indefinite expansion” of the United States, a fight that Adams would take up after Franklin’s death. In his own life, Adams fought for his “continental vision” in which all of North America would become domain of the United States. With the Transcontinental Treaty and his influence on the Monroe Doctrine, Adams began to turn his vision of America into a reality. He and Franklin both pictured a transcontinental United States where the ideals of America could flourish. In essence, Franklin and Adams strived to create an American “Empire for Liberty.” This ideal of liberty would resonate within and permeate the American consciousness, with hopes of ultimately leading to an expansive Nation that holds true its own declaration “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Although 19th century political rhetoric portrays the United States as a land of liberty and opportunity for all, many Americans contradict this rhetoric with a tyrannical westward expansion that eliminates an entire world of “in between” peoples as evident in the reparations of the Mexican-American War, the California Gold Rush, and the genocide of America’s native people.

The argument above does not assert that all Americans of the 19th century were tyrants; rather, it gathers evidence from mid-19th century events that reveal widespread injustice, racism, and inequities within America contradictory with the promise of liberty for all. Although many individuals still believed in an “Empire for Liberty,” the Mexican-American war made it clear that only white, Anglo-American, Christian men would experience liberty in the United States. John Quincy Adams died in the capitol building while fighting for his “Empire for Liberty,” but ultimately defined his life’s work a failure. In February of 1848, American and Mexican forces signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the Mexican-American War, effectively initiating the wave of tyranny unleashed on the people “in between” – John Quincy Adams died 21 days later.

The Mexican-American War began when Zachary Taylor and his American troops, under order of President Polk, entered contested land between Texas and Mexico. With the American military encroaching on their land, the Mexican military fired on the Americans. Although the United States and Mexico disputed this land, (land that was likely more Mexican than American at the time) the battle caused President Polk to cry out that blood had been shed on American soil – ultimately causing the outbreak of the Mexican-American war. During the war, many Americans viewed the war as disgraceful, immoral, and unworthy of the nation. Unfortunately, the disgraces of the war appear miniscule when compared to the land grab and other injustices that followed it.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war and laid out the terms of reparations, which effectively ended the physical land “in between.” In the Mexican Cession, Mexico granted the United States over 500,000 acres of land including California and the present-day southwestern United States. In conjunction with the Oregon Treaty of 1846, this land grab now placed countless non-Americans under the jurisdiction of the United States. These non-Americans – who used to make up the people “in between” – included primarily Mexicans, Natives, and mixed-race people in addition to others involved with trade in the region at the time. Following the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the land appeared ripe for the “virtuous Anglo-American settlers” to move in. However, these Anglo-Americans forgot that many people already inhabited the land that they were destined to take. At first, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo appeared to establish America’s new land with the true ideals of an “Empire for Liberty,” but the incoming Anglo-Americans would develop this land with their own ideas of liberty and justice in mind.

The treaty initially promised to grant legal and property rights to all male Mexican citizens “in the free enjoyment of their liberty and property, and… free exercise of religion;” however, Anglo-Americans would quickly alter the rules of the land to align with their racist and prejudice ideologies. Despite all persons being citizens of the United States, Anglo-Americans relegated Mexicans to lower social classes due to their darker skin color and Catholic religion. In addition to social degradation, many Mexican-American people lost title to their land due to inconsistent laws. In essence, Anglo-Americans dismissed the laws of liberty as laid out in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, instead upholding tyranny against Mexican-Americans. Nominally, the new territories of the United States represented opportunity and liberty for all, but in truth, the Anglo-American’s overruled the laws of the land and oppressed those who they classified as different than themselves. These themes of contradiction and oppression would continue throughout the newly incorporated territories of the United States.

A month prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in February of 1848, an American man found gold in what would soon become American California. Shortly thereafter, the news of gold spread and people from all around the globe began to swarm California. This rush quickly transformed California into Anglo-American territory where racism and injustice thrived. The new white majority made rules that discriminated against everyone dissimilar from themselves. Contrary to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexican men found themselves disenfranchised with their land quickly slipping away. Persons of color could not testify against whites in court. Rather than offering liberty and opportunity to all, American California quickly became a land of Anglo-American tyranny toward non-Anglos. Even the overland paths that Anglo-Americans used to rush to California proved severely detrimental to the Native Americans who were once “in between.” The paths that connected east and west cut directly through lands crucial to Native American life. In addition, the demand for a connected American East and West disqualified the previous idea of permanent Native lands – pushing Natives further to the peripheries of both physical and social spaces in America. The paths that divided Native lands also brought disease and destruction to the land and its Native people of the Great Plains. Over the next decade, 120,000 Native people lost their lives in California, in addition to those devastated by the rush on the plains. The devastation and annihilation of the Native people due to the Gold Rush only represents one of the many aspects in the genocide of America’s native people.

Following the completion of America’s transcontinental nation in 1848, the Native people now under U.S. jurisdiction faced insurmountable oppression. The United States had dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, thus Native Americans could no longer manipulate the prior competing imperial powers. Natives who once served as integral power brokers in the “in between” society now lost their advantage. The disease of American prejudice spread more quickly than the epidemics that killed many Natives in the first place. Anglo-Americans possessed Native land without notice, raped and enslaved Natives, and even demanded the complete extermination of the Native people in many areas. Across the entire continent, the genocide of Native land, culture, and life was in full swing. In 1864, Chief Black Kettle of the Cheyennes called upon the territorial Governor of Colorado and pleaded for relocation to avoid starvation. To conform to the requests of Col. Chivington, Black Kettle agreed to remain under military watch in exchange for peaceful relocation. It appeared that both the Americans and the Cheyenne had come to an agreement, but Chivington and his Commander wanted the Natives to suffer more. In November, the Colorado volunteers slaughtered over 200 men, women, and children – Chivington boasted that his men killed 500. The heinous act caused outrage in the East, but inspired respect and glory in the West. Similar incidents occurred throughout the newly acquired American lands. Rather than American expansion spreading the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Americans provided only tyranny and death.

History from the American perspective portrays westward expansion as a great American triumph; but as displayed in the events following the Mexican-American War, westward expansion reveals that America is in fact a tyrant to anyone outside of the status quo. Americans who were courageous enough to risk the journey west earned great rewards and established a land of liberty from sea to shining sea. Many view the Mexican Cession as the successful completion of the continental puzzle. The Gold Rush appears to offer excitement, wealth, and opportunity for the American people. Lastly, the empty frontier lands of the west call out to any farmer who wishes for more land. Yet, these American perspectives only offer the Anglocentric position of the story. From the perspective of the people once “in between,” the Mexican Cession tells a story of lost land, dignity, and life. On one hand, the California Gold Rush brings harsh racism and injustice to all of the people who inhabited the land prior to American expansion. On the other hand, the Gold Rush wreaks havoc on the physical and social circumstances of the middle ground. With this havoc and sudden end of the middle ground, the culture and life of the Native Americans came to a devastating end. Franklin and Adams may have attempted to build an American “Empire for Liberty,” but American in the mid-19th century became a land of oppression against anyone whom the majority deemed did not belong.

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A Life Devoted to America’s Politics Rewarded with the Country’s Sixth Presidential Mandate

October 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

John Quincy Adams Hello, I’m John Quincy Adams. I grew up in Braintree, Massachusetts,and when I became an adult I traveled with my father on his diplomaticmissions until I became interested in political journalism at Harvard andeventually became he sixth president of the United States. During mylifetime, from 1767 to 1848, the United States was desperately trying tomake allies, as the country was in it’s infancy. I followed my father’sfootsteps, as I was working in foreign relations before I became President. I have experienced many great events, such as when I was appointed asminister to the Netherlands, a mere three days later I witnessed the Frenchinvade the country and overthrow the Dutch Republic. This was thought ofby many as an attempt for the French to show the United States how strongit was, without exerting any force on them at all. On a differentoccasion, when I was appointed minister to Russia, I was the leadingnegotiator for the Treaty of Ghent with the British, which ended the War of1812. These negotiations gained respect for the United States and me as adiplomat. I am a likable person wherever I go. When I was a kid, ourfamily was very closely knit, as we all helped manage the farm, except formy dad, who was usually away in foreign countries. This didn’t affect mevery much since I joined up with him when I was 11 on his operations aftermy persistent asking. As President, I worked scrupulously to work outproblems and provide leadership for the country. This was acknowledged bymy fellow officials in office and by the country, as I’m thought of as aperson with integrity and honesty. Louisa Catherine Adams, my wife, holdsa special place in my heart. She has always been trustworthy and nice. Asa child she had to deal with ill health frequently, (which often recurs),and as First Lady she held brilliant parties for my Cabinet and friends. Louisa and I had four children, but sadly they all died before they couldhave children of their own, all for various reasons. My only real enemy tospeak of is Andrew Jackson. Before my administration, Jackson and hisfollowers accused me of promising Henry Clay a cabinet post in return forhis support. After I was elected, and I appointed Clay Secretary of State,Jackson’s strong followers in Congress called it a ‘corrupt bargain’. Thisdispute forever split the Democratic-Republican Party, and mine is now

known as the National Republicans. Throughout my life in politics, I wasjust concerned with providing the country with leadership to the best of myability. I realized all my actions would influence everyone after me, soit wasn’t just my administration I was providing for. I’m very fortunateto have a father like I did. I didn’t have very many obstacles to overcomeon my way into the White House, since my father really led me intoposition, right up to his support for me as President, which influencedeven more people to vote for me. I consider the split of the parties anobstacle to overcome since if it weren’t for the intense campaigningafterward, I probably wouldn’t have been elected since I lost much supportfrom that event. Nothing is really funny in my life since I am oftensaddened by my wife’s frequent illnesses and charges from Jackson. Throughout my life in politics, it has usually just been being a differentminister for a different country before settling in the White House. Ihave often been misunderstood, due to the fact of my philosophy to changethings for the better, which the people of this country aren’t always readyfor. For instance, at my inaugural speech in front of Congress, I proposeda plan for national improvements, such as highways, universities, andweather stations. They didn’t buy into it, but I have a feeling they willrealize one day that it needs to be done, but it’s a shame not I don’tthink they will in my lifetime. If I had my life to do over again, I wouldprobably not have appointed Henry Clay as Secretary of State. As much of adear friend he is, it caused much trouble throughout my political life. Theaccusations started the minute I appointed him. I feel I deserve creditfor helping to set this country on the right path towards freedom,prosperity, and loyalty to the country. Although they might not appreciateit now, I’m confident future generations will follow my lead to make thiscountry the best it can be. For this generation I can offer this; Once youset your goals, never give up. I had numerous jobs as minister andambassadors to many different countries before I finally won the electionto become the President. The path I traveled wasn’t easy, but I believe myhard work paid off. If I were alive today I would probably take revenge onall those crooked politicians I’ve been hearing about who take bribes andshred confidential documents. They deteriorate the fabric this country wasbuilt on, and it will be a long time before it is fully repaired.

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