Writing Assignment: Write a two to three page paper on one of the following topics:
Summarize the life and career of one of the presidents discussed this week:
1. James Monroe 2. John Quincy Adams
3. Andrew Jackson
John Quincy Adams, born to a wealthy family, never actually went to school. Instead, he was under the tutelage of his cousin, and his father’s law clerk. John did get the chance to travel with his father when his father went on trips to Europe. Because of the fact that he was able to travel to so many different places as a young child, he was able to get a more expanded education. Especially when he enrolled at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
John Quincy spent a lot of time in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark. Because of him spending so much time in other countries, he became fluent in many different languages. When John finally got back to America after all of his traveling, which was before he even went to college, he went to Harvard and he graduated in 1787 with a B.A and in 1790 with an M.A.
Before he went to Harvard though, John Quincy had already translated Virgil, Horace, Plutarch, and Aristotle.
When John Quincy wrote a series of articles defending George Washington, he got recognized nationally. George Washington had made a decision to keep the United States out of any kind of war with Europe, especially the growing French Revolution. This was understandable since America had just gotten over the Revolutionary War. In order to support him, John Quincy wrote a series of articles, and he was instantly recognized.
After this, George Washington appointed John Quincy Ambassador of the Netherlands in 1793 when John Quincy was just 26. John Quincy didn’t really want this position. He preferred a more quiet and peaceful lifestyle, being able to read and study in private, as opposed to the bustle of politics, but his father encouraged him to take it. So John Quincy reluctantly took the position. It’s a good thing he did because during his travels there he met his wife.
When his time as ambassador was over, John Quincy hoped that he would be able to return to his quiet life, but George Washington named him Minister of Portugal in 1796. John Quincy didn’t really like being in public service as much as you would think, but he decided to do it anyway.
When John Quincy later ran for President he was opposed by Andrew Jackson, a war hero from the War of 1812.
By the end of the election there was a three-way tie, and the presidency had to be decided by the House of Representatives. A man named Henry Clay helped John Quincy win the election and John Quincy officially became President in 1825. Andrew Jackson was furious at the fact that he lost. He was positive that John Quincy and Henry made some sort of deal because of the fact that John Quincy appointed Henry Clay his own Secretary of State. Andrew Jackson then vowed that he would beat John Quincy in the next election (and he did).
During his presidency, John Quincy suggested that they try to improve things in the country internally instead of improving it through foreign involvement. John Quincy suggested that they start improving the country internally so he supported a high tariff to help pay for all of the new road and canals that he started.
In the next election, Andrew Jackson got what he wanted and beat out John Quincy Adams in the election of 1828, making John Quincy only the second president to only serve for 1 term. His father was the first. After this, John Quincy thought that he could finally retire from public service, but this was not the case. John Quincy was unexpectedly elected to the House of Representatives a year after he retired from his Presidency. John Quincy continued to serve the last 17 years of his life in Congress, even when he a stroke in 1846. This stroke left him partially paralyzed. After he recovered, he returned to his duties in Congress.
In 1848, he suffered another stroke. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it out of this one, and he died in his home two days later.
John Quincy was very stubborn when he believed in something and wanted it, just like his father. He will always be remembered as the Greatest American Hero.