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John Quincy Adams, also known as “Old Man Eloquent” was the sixth president of the United States of America (1825-1829). He was the eldest son of the former president, John Adams. Prior to his presidency, he was appointed as President James Monroe’s Secretary of State. He primarily authored the Monroe Doctrine of 1823. See the fact file below for more information on John Quincy Adams or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, in Braintree, Massachusetts. He was the eldest son of John Adams (2nd U.S. President) and Abigail Smith. The young John Quincy often accompanied his father, who was then the Minister to France, with his travels to Paris, Amsterdam, and St. Petersburg. On July 16, 1797, he married Louisa Catherine Johnson, with whom he had four children.
- John Quincy’s exposure to politics started when he was 14 years old. He served as the secretary and translator for Francis Dana during his stay in Russia. By 1783, upon returning to Paris, he became the secretary of his father, who was the chief negotiator to end the American Revolutionary War.
- In 1785, he entered Harvard College and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree two years later. By 1789, he studied law and was later admitted to the bar. Shortly after, he practised law in Boston.
- President George Washington appointed him as the Minister to the Netherlands in 1794, and Minister to Portugal in 1796. In 1797 to 1801, he became the Minister to Prussia.
- From 1803 to 1808, John Quincy served as a U.S. senator after being elected to the Massachusetts State Senate in 1802. He was a member of the Federalist Party before joining the Democratic Republican Party founded by Thomas Jefferson. In 1809, he was appointed by President James Madison as the Minister to Russia. He was also the chief negotiator during the War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. The Treaty of Ghent ended the war in 1814. During the term of President James Monroe, he became the Secretary of State for eight years. The Adams-Onis Treaty also known as the Florida Treaty was also credited to Adams. In 1819, Florida became a part of the United States. By 1823, Pres. Monroe announced the policy known as the “Monroe Doctrine” which was primarily penned by John Quincy. The policy warned European nations not to colonize the newly liberated Latin American countries.
John Quincy Adams’ Presidency
- On March 4, 1825, a year before the death of his father, John Quincy Adams took his oath as the 6th President of the United States at the House Chamber, U.S. Capitol. The U.S. House of Representatives elected him as the president after none of the four candidates (Andrew Jackson, William Crawford, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams) gained enough electoral votes to win. The southern statesman, John C. Calhoun became his vice president, while Henry Clay was appointed as Secretary of State.
- President John Quincy Adams supported the Tariff of 1828, which made him unpopular to the people from the south. Tariffs were levied on imported goods by up to 30%. Southerners (agricultural) found it favorable to the Northerners (industrial). It was then blocked through the Tariff of Abominations. He protected the Native Americans of the west by his refusal of the expansion of U.S. territory.
- As a president, the younger Adams proposed the progressive national program. It included the federal funding of interstate roads and canals, as well as the establishment of a national university. His primary critic, Andrew Jackson, came to mobilize the anti-Adams against the president’s proposal. Adams failed to gain support from Congress but he managed to complete the Erie Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the East Coast, enabling trade and commerce.
- In 1828, Adams failed to win a reelection, like his father in 1800. Andrew Jackson defeated him with large support from the south and west. The accusation of corruption badly hurt Adams’ candidacy.
Post-presidency and Death
- Like his father, John Quincy was an unpopular president. They both failed to gain support of their party and were highly criticized by Congress.
Out of bitter feelings, John Quincy did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson. Adams did not retire from politics. In 1830, he became the only former-president to serve in Congress. He was elected to the House of Representatives for nine consecutive terms.
- As a congressman, Adams was an outspoken anti-slavery politician. He fought to repeal the “Gag Rule”, which prohibited anti-slavery discussions. He was one of the supporters behind the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution. It was the national institution of science and learning which he proposed when he was the president.
- In 1841, he argued for the freedom of captured African slaves near Long Island. Adams opposed the annexation of Texas in 1845 as well as the Mexican-American War in 1846.
- As a leading congressman, he was nicknamed “Old Man Eloquent” due to his speeches regarding education, slavery, and freedom of speech.
- On February 23, 1848, John Quincy died in Washington, D.C. after suffering from a cerebral hemorrhage while in session. He was interred at the United First Parish Church with his parents and wife.
- The first Presidential Library was built by his son Charles Francis from his father’s 8,500-volume personal library, papers, and diaries.
John Quincy Adams Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use John Quincy Adams Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about America’s 6th President. He was the eldest son of the former president, John Adams. Prior to his presidency, he was appointed as President James Monroe’s Secretary of State. He primarily authored the Monroe Doctrine of 1823
Download includes the following worksheets
- John Quincy Adams Facts
- Old Man Eloquent
- Famous Adams
- Flight as the Minister
- Cabinet Members
- All About Massachusetts
- Foreign Treaties Word Search
- J.Q.A. Advocacy
- Adams and Adams
- The Monroe Doctrine Comics
- Appreciating Education
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Use With Any Curriculum
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