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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

This week in history

Posted Tuesday, July 10, 2012, at 10:43 AM

John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United States (1825--1829). He was born on July 11, 1767. He served as an American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. His father was an American Founding Father, and the second President of the United States (1797--1801).

As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As Secretary of State, he negotiated with the United Kingdom over America's northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and authored the Monroe Doctrine. Historians agree he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history.

As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promoted education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. In doing so, he became the first President since his father to serve a single term.

Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped America's foreign policy in line with his keenly nationalist commitment to America's republican values. He is portrayed as the moral leader in an era of modernization. During Adams' lifetime, technological innovations and new means of communication spread messages of religious revival, social reform, and party politics. Goods, money and people traveled more rapidly and efficiently than ever before.

Adams was elected a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after leaving office, the only president ever to be so, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater success than he had achieved in the presidency. Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery, Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. He predicted that if a civil war were to break out, the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers. Adams also predicted the Union's dissolution over the slavery issue, but said that if the South became independent there would be a series of bloody slave revolts.

Adams' youngest son, Charles Francis Adams (who named his own son John Quincy), also pursued a career in diplomacy and politics. In 1870 Charles Francis built the first memorial presidential library in the United States, to honor his father. The Stone Library includes over 14,000 books written in twelve languages. The library is located in the "Old House" at Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts.

John Adams and John Quincy Adams were the first father and son to each serve as president (the others being George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush). In addition, each Adams served only one term as President.

As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.



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