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#6 John Quincy Adams Legacy

#6 John Quincy Adams Legacy Poll  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following decisions/events of Adams's presidency are positive towards his legacy?

    • Greatly reduced the the national debt
    • Promoted government funding for infrastructure (roads, bridges, canals, coastal defenses), most of which didn't pass Congress
    • Controversially appointed Henry Clay as Sec. of State, who had dropped out of the race to endorse Adams, giving him the victory over Jackson. ("Corrupt Bargain")
    • Raised the tariff to protect American industry in the North; although, it angered those in the South
    • Relatively generous policy towards Native Americans, which upset Western settlers
    • Promoted government funding for a national university, national observatory, arts and sciences (Congress blocked most of this)
    • Requested funding to send two American delegates to Panama for a discussion among Western Hemisphere leaders (denied)
    • Opened trade and gained reciprocal trade rights with Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Central American countries
    • Tried, but failed, to resolve trade issues with the British and West Indies
    • Vocally opposed slavery; yet, did nothing to change the issue. (still angered the South)
    • Appointed primarily ex-Federalists, and largely ignored Southern appointees.
    • Promoted Henry Clay's "American System," an ante-bellum New Deal designed to modernize the country domestically and economically in order to compete with the European powers. (Opposed mostly by Southerners and fiscally conservative Democrats).
    • Federally funded the first passenger railway
    • While he reduced the national debt; he also spent more money than any previous president.
    • Attempted, but failed, to buy Texas from Mexico
    • Made little effort to lead the Adams Men (future Whigs), making them easy prey for the Jackson Men in the next election.
    • Restrained himself from sending Federal Troops to intervene when the the Georgia militia attacked the Creek tribe (He wanted to intervene, but thought it unconstitutional)
    • The first child of a former president to become president
    • The first president to face routine Congressional gridlock (by Jackson supporters)
    • None of the above
  2. 2. Part 2 of the above

    • Took the oath of office on the Constitution, rather than on the Bible
    • His policies and presidency, inadvertently created the 2nd Party System of Democrats vs. Whigs
    • Appointed Richard Rush, a son of Founding Father Benjamin Rush, as Sec of Treasury. Rush gave us a budget surplus.
    • Appointed Barbour as Sec of War, an advocated for removing all Eastern Native tribes across the Mississippi. Adams did not listen to him.
    • Retained James Monroe's Attorney General, William Wirt, making him the longest tenured attorney general in history.
    • Promoted naval expansion, navy hospitals, navy docks, expanding the navy and increasing naval expenditure by 50%
    • Requested funding for a naval expedition into the Pacific Ocean
    • Soundly defeated for reelection, since he made little effort to appeal to the masses or to regional leaders.
    • No Major wars
    • His sole SC appointment was Kentuckian Robert Trimble, to satisfy Henry Clay and his state, but Trimble died after two years.
  3. 3. Overall, what is your general view of Adams's presidency?

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Here's Adams's poll, which will be used towards a forum ranking. 

Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe have polls in this forum.

Please take these polls if you have not done so already. 

John Quincy Adams is a fascinating figure because he was so unsuccessful as president; yet, was arguably the first modern executive, calling for aggressive domestic action. 

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John Quincy Adams: The W. of the 19th century.

Actually, i was surprised at how many positives i found here; he would be leading on my scoreboard among the first six!

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3 hours ago, Take Me to La Riva said:

John Quincy Adams: The W. of the 19th century.

Actually, i was surprised at how many positives i found here; he would be leading on my scoreboard among the first six!

I don't think that's an accurate analogy, other than being a son of a president. Adams was arguably the most accomplished AND competent politicians in the country heading into office. He was also arguably the most brilliant in sheer intellectual power. Additionally, he was much more foresighted, tolerant, humanitarian, and progressive than his peers. Although, we are talking about relative tolerance, however. If we were ranking presidents on which president we liked the most, regardless of their success, but based on their platform relative to their time, I think JQ Adams would be in my top 5. 

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1 hour ago, Sunnymentoaddict said:

I know for a fact, had I been alive in 1824, I would've voted for Q in a heart beat. I'm curious how this community will view Jackson( arguably the founder of the Democratic party).

I agree. The Jacksonians (except for their belief in an expanded Democracy) were a cancer from which we still haven't recovered. If Adams hadn't had faced a Jacksonian opposition, and got most of his measure passed, I think it might have modernized the country a good 25 years ahead of schedule by 1900. What this would have meant for the Civil War is interesting, if it would have still occurred at all. 

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