John Quincy Adams: Life And Presidency.

1346 words - 5 pages

John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, in what is now Quincy, Massachusetts (Peil), to the second President of the United States who served on the first Continental Congress and helped draft the Constitution ("John Adams the Diplomatic President"), John Adams and his wife Abagail (Peil). During the first years of the Revolution, John Quincy received his education principally by instruction from his father and mother. At ten years of age he accompanied his father on several diplomatic missions to Europe. While in Paris, attending a private school, he learned to speak French fluently and then studied at the University of Leiden. By the time Adams returned to the states in 1785, he was well versed in classical languages, history, and mathematics. Adams finished his education at Harvard in 1787, and then began to practice law in Boston (Bemis), without much success ("John Adams the Diplomatic President"). At age twenty-six he was appointed Minister of the Netherlands by George Washington, and later promoted to the Berlin Legation. Adams was elected to the United States Senate in 1802 as a result of his accomplishments. Six years later Adams was appointed Minister to Russia by President Monroe. Monroe also chose Adams to become secretary of state. In this position Adams gained a great deal of respect and was considered one of America's greatest secretaries of state. This earned him a nomination for President in the election of 1824 ("John Quincy Adams").The election of 1824 was a landmark election. It was the first in which popular vote actually mattered. In the past the election had been left up to the state legislature. Only six states decided to use this policy. The other sixteen states decided to choose presidential electors by popular vote ("John Adams the Diplomatic President"). There were four candidates for the presidency: William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and of course John Q. Adams. All four candidates were nominally Democratic-Republicans, so the election would be decided without party affiliation. When the sixteen states that had chosen to use popular votes had voted, Jackson had 153,544 popular votes (43.1%), Adams polled108, 740 in popular votes (30.5%), Clay received 47,136 popular votes (13.2%), andCrawford came in last receiving only 46,618 (13.1%). Jackson had won the popular votes but the Electoral College only gave him 99 votes, which was thirty-two votes short of a majority. They gave Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. Because no majority was reached, the House of Representatives met under the twelfth amendment to select the president from the top three candidates. Henry Clay, Speaker of the House, was eliminated, but still had the most influence in determining the outcome of the election. Clay gave his support to Adams and he won the election by one vote. Adams then selected Clay as his secretary of state. This caused many problems in his presidency. Jackson and his followers were outraged and claimed a...

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