- NAME: John Quincy Adams
- OCCUPATION: Lawyer, Diplomat, U.S. President, U.S. Representative
- BIRTH DATE: July 11, 1767
- DEATH DATE: February 23, 1848
- EDUCATION: University of Leiden
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Braintree, Massachusetts
- PLACE OF DEATH: Washington, D.C.
- Full Name: John Quincy Adams
- Nickname: "Old Man Eloquent"
- Nickname: "The Abolitionist"
- AKA: John Adams
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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.
James Madison - War of 1812 (2:21)
John Quincy Adams was the eldest son of President John Adams and the sixth president of the United States. Before his presidency, Adams was one of America's greatest diplomat; after, he fought against the expansion of slavery.
Watch a short video about John Quincy Adams and discover how he became the sixth President of the United States.
Martin Van Buren was considered the first professional politician to hold the office and was known as the "ok" president.
In 1812, James Madison became the first U.S. president to ask Congress to declare war. Find out why he wanted to wage war against Britain and how his constituents felt about it.
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Adams also saw the need for practical solutions to universal problems, thusly calling for the establishment of a uniform system of weights and measures and improving the patent system.
While these may have been admirable goals for an aspiring nation,
they were considered overambitious and unrealistic for America in the 1820s. Adams's proposals were met with scorn and derision by political opponents; critics charged that the president's policies would enlarge the powers and influence of the federal government at the expense of the state and local governments, and some accused Adams of promoting programs to enhance the elite and neglect the common people. In the midterm election of 1826, Jacksonian opponents won majorities in both Houses of Congress. As a result, many of Adams's initiatives either failed to pass legislation or were woefully underfunded.
The election of 1828 was an especially bitter and personal affair. As was the tradition, neither candidate personally campaigned, but supporters conducted ruthless attacks on the opposing candidates. The campaign reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife, Rachel, of bigamy. Adams lost the election by a decisive margin, and he left Washington without attending Jackson's inauguration.
John Quincy Adams did not retire from public life after leaving the presidential office. In 1830, he ran for and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, once again distinguishing himself as a statesman of the first order. In 1836, Adams focused his long-standing anti-slavery sentiment on defeating a gag-rule instituted by Southerners to stifle debate. In 1841, he argued in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of escaped African slaves in the famous Amistad case, and won the release of the captives.
On February 21, 1848, in his last contribution to his country, John Quincy Adams was on the floor of the House of Representatives, arguing to honor U.S. Army officers who had served in the Mexican-American War (he opposed the war, but felt that the U.S. government was obligated to honor its veterans). During the event, Adams suddenly collapsed, suffering from a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was taken to the Speaker's Room in the Capitol Building, where he died two days later, on February 23, 1848.
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The first U.S. president, former military leader George Washington, took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall. From that moment onward, the United States' highest office has been filled regularly by elected officials who aim to serve the people under the guidance of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more about the 43 men who have served as America's chief executive.
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