The Jackson Era
John Quincy Adams in The Jackson Era
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) was the sixth president of the United States. The son of John Adams, the Revolutionary statesman and second president, John Quincy was born in Massachusetts and educated at Harvard. He held a series of diplomatic posts—minister to the Netherlands (1794-1796), minister to Russia (1797-1801, 1809-1814), and minister to Great Britain (1815-1817). He also led the American delegation that negotiated the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812. He served in the United States Senate from 1803-1806, and he was the Secretary of State under President James Monroe from 1817 to 1825.
Adams was elected president of the United States in 1825 despite receiving far fewer popular and Electoral College votes than Andrew Jackson. Jackson alleged that Adams, in order to win the election after it was thrown into the House of Representatives, secured the critical support Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House, by promising to appoint Clay the Secretary of State in Adams's administration. Jackson's supporters labeled this a "corrupt bargain" and built Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign around this issue.
Defeated by Jackson in 1828, Adams won a seat representing his Massachusetts district in the House of Representatives in 1831 and served until his death in 1848. He remains the only American president ever to serve in Congress after completing his term in the White House.