John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams
JQA Photo.tif
Adams, c. 1843–48
6th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
Vice PresidentJohn C. Calhoun
Preceded byJames Monroe
Succeeded byAndrew Jackson
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1831 – February 23, 1848
Preceded byJoseph Richardson
Succeeded byHorace Mann
Constituency11th district (1831–1833)
12th district (1833–1843)
8th district (1843–1848)
8th United States Secretary of State
In office
September 22, 1817 – March 4, 1825
PresidentJames Monroe
Preceded byJames Monroe
Succeeded byHenry Clay
United States Minister to the United Kingdom
In office
June 8, 1815 – May 14, 1817
PresidentJames Madison
James Monroe
Preceded byJonathan Russell (1812)
Succeeded byRichard Rush
United States Minister to Russia
In office
November 5, 1809 – April 28, 1814
PresidentJames Madison
Preceded byWilliam Short
Succeeded byJames A. Bayard
United States Senator
from Massachusetts
In office
March 4, 1803 – June 8, 1808
Preceded byJonathan Mason
Succeeded byJames Lloyd
United States Minister to Prussia
In office
December 5, 1797 – May 5, 1801
PresidentJohn Adams
Thomas Jefferson
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHenry Wheaton (1835)
United States Minister to the Netherlands
In office
November 6, 1794 – June 20, 1797
PresidentGeorge Washington
John Adams
Preceded byWilliam Short
Succeeded byWilliam Vans Murray
Personal details
Born(1767-07-11)July 11, 1767
Braintree, Province of Massachusetts Bay, British America
(now Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.)
DiedFebruary 23, 1848(1848-02-23) (aged 80)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeUnited First Parish Church
Political partyWhig (1834–1848)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Federalist (1792–1808)
Democratic-Republican (1809–1828)
National Republican (1828–1830)
Anti-Masonic (1830–1834)
Spouse(s)
Louisa Johnson (m. 1797)
Children
ParentsJohn Adams (1735–1826)
Abigail Smith (1744–1818)
RelativesSee Adams political family and Quincy political family
EducationHarvard University (BA, MA)
SignatureCursive signature in ink

John Quincy Adams (i/ (About this soundlisten);[a] July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) was an American statesman who served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He served as the eighth United States Secretary of State immediately before becoming president. During his long diplomatic and political career, Adams also served as an ambassador, United States Senator, and member of the United States House of Representatives. He was the eldest son of John Adams, who served as president from 1797 to 1801. Initially a Federalist like his father, he won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, and in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party.

Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, Adams spent much of his youth in Europe, where his father served as a diplomat. After returning to the United States, Adams established a successful legal practice in Boston. In 1794, President George Washington appointed Adams as the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, and Adams would serve in high-ranking diplomatic posts until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson took office as president. Federalist leaders in Massachusetts arranged for Adams's election to the United States Senate in 1802, but Adams broke with the Federalist Party over foreign policy and was denied re-election. In 1809, Adams was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to Russia by Democratic-Republican President James Madison. Adams held diplomatic posts for the duration of Madison's presidency, and he served as part of the American delegation that negotiated an end to the War of 1812. In 1817, newly-elected President James Monroe selected Adams as his secretary of state. In that role, Adams negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty, which provided for the American acquisition of Florida. He also helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine, which became a key tenet of U.S. foreign policy.

The presidential election 1824 was contested by Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, and Henry Clay, all of whom were members of the Democratic-Republican Party. As no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives held a contingent election to determine the president, and Adams won that contingent election with the support of Clay. President Adams called for an ambitious agenda that included federally-funded infrastructure projects, the establishment of a national university, and engagement with the countries of Latin America, but many of his initiatives were defeated in Congress. During Adams's presidency, the Democratic-Republic Party polarized into two major camps: one group, known as the National Republican Party, supported President Adams, while the other group, known as the Democratic Party, was led by Andrew Jackson. The Democrats proved to be more effective political organizers than Adams and his National Republican supporters, and Jackson decisively defeated Adams in the 1828 presidential election.

Rather than retiring from public service, Adams won election to the House of Representatives, where he would serve from 1831 to his death in 1848. He joined the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 1830s before becoming a member of the Whig Party, which united those opposed to President Jackson. During his time in Congress, Adams became increasingly critical of slavery and of the Southern leaders whom he believed controlled the Democratic Party. He was particularly opposed to the annexation of Texas and the Mexican–American War, which he saw as a war to extend slavery. He also led the repeal of the "gag rule," which had prevented the House of Representatives from debating petitions to abolish slavery. Historians generally concur that Adams was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history, but they tend to rank him as an average president.

Early life, education, and early career

Coat of Arms of John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, to John and Abigail Adams (née Smith) in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts that is now Quincy.[3] He was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is named.[4] Young Adams was educated by private tutors – his cousin James Thaxter and his father's law clerk, Nathan Rice.[5][page needed] He soon began to exhibit his literary skills, and in 1779 he initiated a diary which he kept until just before he died in 1848.[6] Until the age of ten, Adams grew up on the family farm in Braintree, largely in the care of his mother. Though frequently absent due to his participation in the American Revolution, John Adams maintained a correspondence with his son, encouraging him to read works by authors like Thucydides and Hugo Grotius.[7] With his father's encouragement, Adams would also translate classical authors like Virgil, Horace, Plutarch, and Aristotle.[8]

In 1778, Adams and his father departed for Europe, where John Adams would serve as part of American diplomatic missions in France and the Netherlands.[9] During this period, Adams studied French, Greek, and Latin, and attended several schools, including Leiden University.[10] In 1781, Adams traveled to Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he served as the secretary of American diplomat Francis Dana.[11] He returned to the Netherlands in 1783, and accompanied his father to Great Britain in 1784.[12] Though Adams enjoyed Europe, he and his family decided he needed to return to the United States to complete his education and eventually launch a political career.[13]

Adams returned to the United States in 1785 and earned admission as a member of the junior class of Harvard College the following year. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and excelled academically, graduating second in his class in 1787.[14] After graduating from Harvard, he studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts from 1787 to 1789.[15] Adams initially opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution, but he ultimately came to accept the document, and in 1789 his father was elected as the first Vice President of the United States.[16] In 1790, Adams opened his own legal practice in Boston. Despite some early struggles, he experienced moderate success as an attorney and was able to establish his financial independence from his parents.[17]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Con Kuinsi Adams
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беларуская: Джон Квінсі Адамс
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Джон Куінсі Адамз
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српски / srpski: Џон Квинси Адамс
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Türkmençe: Jon Kuinsy Adams
українська: Джон Квінсі Адамс
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