John Quincy Adams Biography
The John Quincy Adams biography reflects the expectations his parents set out for him as a child and the opportunities granted to him that groomed him into the role of a public servant. Politics was deeply rooted in John Quincy Adams as a child, his mother’s grandfather served as a Massachusetts legislature and he was the eldest son of John Adams, the vice president that served under George Washington for two terms who would later become the second president of the United States. John Quincy would later follow in his father footsteps seeking the presidency of the United States in which his father prepared him for that journey.
John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, in Braintree, Massachusetts. As a pre-teen John Quincy traveled with his father twice to Paris. He attended one year of formal schooling before attending the University of Lieden in 1780. From the education he received in Paris he began to keep detailed diaries of his experiences and the people he meet. In 1782, at the age of fourteen John Quincy served as a secretary under his father. He would attend Harvard University in 1787 and in three years passed the bar, then practice law in Boston. John Quincy would become a writer transcribing Thomas Paine’s “Rights of Man” and articles that supported a neutral policy between England and France. His views on foreign policy caught the attention of President George Washingtonk who would appoint him to serve as minister to Netherlands in 1794. When his father was elected president he served as a minister to Portugal in 1796. In 1797, he would marry Louisa Catherine Johnson with whom he had four children.
After serving overseas John Quincy would return to Massachusetts and involve himself in local politics. He became a state senator and then a United States senator in 1803, representing Federalist voters. While in the senate he supported the 1807 Louisiana Purchase and the Embargo Act that was against foreign trade. His support for Jeffersonian ideas went against his party and he lost his senate seat. Afterward, he changed his political party to the Republicans. When James Madison became president, he appointed John Quincy to a minister position overseas to represent the United States. His most successful treaty was when he negotiated a peace treaty with England to end the War of 1812. When President James Monroe was elected into office, he appointed John Quincy as secretary of state in which he served from 1817 to 1825. Under President Monroe's administration he helped draft the Monroe Doctrinek which warned European countries not to interfere with the United States policies.
John Quincy ran for president in 1824. No candidate won the majority of electoral votes. Due to his popularity, the House of Representatives selected him as the U.S. sixth president in 1825. The results of the electoral votes were Andrew Jackson 99, John Q. Adams 84, William Crawford 41, and Henry Clay 37. John Quincy would select Henry Clay as secretary of state. This led to Andrew Jackson resentment towards him. Jackson would quit the senate and campaign for three years to unseat John Quincy.
John Quincy Adams sought to improve the transportation system by working on roads and canals. When he ran for a second term, in 1829, he lost to Andrew Jackson, who won by a landslide by campaigning that John Quincy ran a corrupt campaign. John Quincy would return to Massachusetts to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in 1830, which he served for nine terms. In the house he fought against a petition that prevented members of house to voice their opinion against slavery. He also represented the Amistad Africans in a Supreme Court trail, who overtook a Spanish ship so they would not become slaves. John Quincy won the case that allowed the Amistad Africans to return to Africa.