John Quicy Adams: Biography
John Quincy Adams became the sixth president of the United States in 1825. His vice president was John C. Calhoun. His nichname was old man eloquent and was the only president to name a son George Washington.
John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree, Ma on July 11, 1767. He became the sixth president of the United States in 1825, and served until 1829. His vice president was John C. Calhoun.
After the House of Representatives choose John Quincy Adams to be the sixth president in February 1825, Adams' friends gave him some advice. They told him to fire all of Monroe's appointees and name his own people to federal office.
As it turned out, the advice Adams got was good, but he refused to heed it. The new president did not think it would be a good idea, or look right, for him to reward his own followers with powerful political appointments. Instead, his administration remained filled with people who did not wish him well.
Adams was the first president to champion the government's role in making internal improvements for the benefit of trade. Adams wanted the government to take an active role in expanding commerce. The president had earlier adopted the American System, developed by Secretary of State Clay while he was still in the House of Representatives. The point of the American System was to create a self-sufficient national economy.
Clay believed that a factory economy in the North could provide markets for southern cotton as well as western grain and beef. In exchange, the south and west would buy Northern manufactured goods. The congressmen who fought the American System did so for a number of reasons. Some were merely blocking Adams in order to ensure the election of Jackson in 1828. Others worried that the federal government was becoming too powerful.
Ever since the louisiana purchase and the War of 1812, the country's growing size and nationalism had made the role of the federal government ever more important. This development made many states nervous for the same reason Jefferson would have been. They believed that a strong federal government was dangerous because it meant less freedom for the states.
Throughout his presidency, Adams pressed for higher tariffs on imported manufactured goods. During his last year in office, a tarrif bill was finally passed by Congress, but it was not the Bill that adams had proposed.
In an attempt to embarrass the president, the Jackson supporters in Congress had amended Adam's plan so that it raised tariffs on imported raw materials as well. They were sure that New England congressmen, who otherwise supported Adams, would never vote for such a bill because it would raise the prices New England factories paid for their raw materials.
They were wrong! The tariff of 1828 passed and was signed by the president. The new tariff rates dramatically raised the prices of all sorts of goods, which made the public furious. The new law did not embarass Adams, but it did eliminate whatever small chance he might have had at winning re-election. Still, whatever good the tariff did for Andrew Jackson, it also passed along to him crisis in the making.
After, John Quincy Adams lost the 1828 election to Andrew Jackson, most people expected him to retire. Instead, in 1830, the 63 year old Adams ran for a seat in the House of Representatives and won. He thus became the first president to serve in Congress after leaving the White House.
In february 1848, John Quincy Adams suffered a stroke on the floor of the House. The 81 year old former president was carried to a nearby chamber. He died there two days later because doctors considered it too dangerous to move him.