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Adams, John Quincy

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Adams, John Quincy

(b. Quincy, Mass., 11 July 1767; d. Washington, D.C., 23 February 1848)    Son of John Adams, he was envoy to the Netherlands (1794–6) and Prussia (1797–1801). Elected to the Senate in 1803, he resigned in 1808 under pressure from his Mass. constituents for having supported the embargo (see Embargo Act). He headed the US delegation at the negotiations for the treaty of Ghent and was ambassador to Britain (1815–17). He negotiated the Adams–Onis Treaty. Running for president in 1824 as a Democrat, he gained just 30.5 percent of the ballots but won through the “ corrupt bargain.”
His domestic agenda was the boldest yet proposed by a president, and included federal funding of internal improvements, scientific explorations, an astronomical observatory, a national university, and an Interior Department, but Congress enacted little of his program. Adams suffered another major defeat when Ga. forced him to accept the treaty of Indian Springs. It was Adams and Henry Clay around whom the National Republicans formed. In part because he refused on principle to use patronage to build a political machine, he took only 44.0 percent of the popular vote against Jackson in 1828. While in Congress (1831–48), he opposed the annexation of Texas and the extension of slavery to the territories. He was known as “Old Man Eloquent” for his efforts to overturn the Gag Rule.