John Quincy Adams / John Quincy Adams - Key Events

John Quincy Adams - Key Events

John Quincy Adams elected

The House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams President of the United States. The election of 1824 produces an outcome in which none of the four candidates achieve a majority of electoral endorsements. Andrew Jackson receives 99, John Quincy Adams 84, William Crawford 41, and Henry Clay 37. Because no one obtains the required constitutional majority, the election is remanded to the House of Representatives. In what Jackson proponents denounce as the “corrupt bargain,” Speaker Henry Clay resolves to throw his votes behind Adams, presumably, to secure the helm of the State Department. As President, Adams nominates Clay to be secretary of state. Jackson is furious, abdicates his Senate seat, and vows to run again in 1828.

John Quincy Adams Elected President

On February 9, 1825, the House of Representative elected John Quincy Adams as the sixth President of the United States after the electoral college failed to produce a winner. The 1824 election was one of only three presidential elections in which that scenario occurred (1800, 1824, and 1876). With no candidate having an outright majority, the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution placed the election in the hands of the House of Representatives, which then decided from among the top three candidates. In 1825, the House elected John Quincy Adams, but the resulting controversy haunted him for the entirety of his term and was a factor in his defeat for reelection in 1828.

After James Monroe's reelection in 1820, the Federalists had collapsed as a national opposition party, and nearly every national political figure was a member of the same party-the Jeffersonian Republicans. By the 1824 election, no front runner had emerged to succeed Monroe. Five candidates were in the running: Secretary of State John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford of Georgia, Speaker of the House Henry Clay of Kentucky, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. Without a national base of support, Calhoun unofficially withdrew himself from contention for the presidency, and his supporters campaigned for him to become vice president.

The results of the 1824 election were confusing and indecisive. Jackson won 99 electoral votes, Adams 84, Crawford 41, and Clay 37. Jackson had received more than 150,000 popular votes, and nearly 40,000 more than Adams. Yet, in 1824, the overall popular vote had no standing. In some states, the state legislatures still chose the electors; many other states had only begun to have their electors chosen by general election. With no candidate having an outright majority of the electoral votes, the House was to choose between the top three vote-getters, and Clay's supporters generally threw their votes to Adams. On February 9, 1825, John Quincy Adams received 13 votes, Jackson 7, and Crawford 4. Adams thus became the sixth President of the United States.

Jackson and his supporters were furious at both Clay and Adams. When Adams chose Clay as secretary of state, Jackson's partisans alleged that they had made a “corrupt bargain.” Jackson's supporters used this slogan to mobilize for the 1828 election, and Jackson defeated Adams in that election four years later.

The 1824 election was only the second time a presidential election had been thrown into the House of Representatives. With the emergence of a two-party system during the Jackson presidency, such electoral logjams became rare. Only twice since 1824 - in 1876 and 2000 - has the presidential election failed to produce an immediate winner.

Adams Inauguration

John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States and son of John Adams, the second President, makes his inaugural address. An intellectual, Adams will fail to assemble public support during his one term in office, often denounced as an aristocrat. In this address, Adams sets forth his policies bluntly, alienating many in Congress. A central feature of the Adams administration will be the opening and expansion of trade relationships with South America and the Caribbean colonies, which are formalized between the United States and several European powers in the General Reciprocity Act of 1824.

07/07/1825: Captain Porter Court-martialed

Captain David Porter, a perennial thorn in the side of the United States Navy, is court-martialed for overstepping his powers when he chooses to land 200 troops at Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in November 1824. Porter demands an apology from the port's captain for the detention of two errant U.S. officers. Despite the court martial, the American public proves largely sympathetic to Porter's insubordination. The court martial fails to reach a decision.

Tennessee Legislature nominates Jackson

The Tennessee legislature nominates Andrew Jackson their presidential challenger for the 1828 election.

Erie Canal Completed

The first passage on the 363 mile-long Erie Canal is completed from Lake Erie to New York City, linking the Atlantic and trans-Atlantic marketplaces with growing agricultural production in the Northwest states. Construction of the canal began in 1817. During his presidential term, Adams strongly supports national planning of and the use of national funds for an improved transportation infrastructure.

Military Training Manuals Created

Military standardization and integration of Union and state militias is a foremost concern during the Adams administration. In response to a proposal by the secretary of war to revamp military organization and seniority systems, a joint House and Senate resolution calls for the production and dispersal of training manuals.

Jefferson and Adams Die

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, founding fathers and former Presidents, both die.

Resolution of war damages

Under the mediation of Czar Nicholas I, President Adams finalizes a settlement with the British over restitution for damages incurred during the War of 1812, left unresolved by the Treaty of Ghent.

Ports closed to British

Adams proclaims all American ports closed to trade with British colonies, suspending disagreements from an era of protracted contention with the British over tariffs, navigation and duties. Adams's declaration embodies his response to a rising Continental cartel of exclusive trading relationships.

MFN Trade System

Additional European states are incorporated into the MFN trade system, the pre-conditions of commercial growth being ëneutral rights,' which began in April 1826.

Proposed sale of U.S. Bank stock

Nicholas Biddle of the Bank of the United States implements the sale of government securities to curtail the outward flow of specie. This policy results in propositions by Congress for the public sale of United States Bank stock.

Mexican Boundary settlement

Joel Poinsett accedes to a Mexican boundary settlement on behalf of the United States. This concludes a slew of unsuccessful efforts by Adams to negotiate more favorable borders than the existing Sabine River.

Nicaraguan Canal is proposed

Antonio José Caóaz, Guatemalan minister to the United States, proposes the construction of a canal adjoining the Pacific and Atlantic through Nicaragua. The United States is receptive, spearheading a flurry of American and international bids for surveying, building, and operation contracts. Although local instability derails the experiment, the effort is an important demonstration of the supremacy of the United States's influence in Central America.

Tariff of Abominations

Proposed by South Carolinian and Vice President John Calhoun in an attempt to bolster support for Andrew Jackson's bid for President, Congress passes a new tariff bill. The plan calls for incredibly high tariffs on raw materials to accommodate Western interests and on British woolens to appease New England interests. Calhoun believed Jackson supporters in the Northeast would back the bill while Jackson men in the South and Southwest, generally opposed to protectionism, would oppose it; he expects the bill to fail. The Tariff angers many, including the Virginia state legislature, which terms the law the “Tariff of Abominations.” The bill's passage effectively ends Adams's hopes for reelection and increases support for Jackson who appears as a free-trade advocate to the South and a protectionist to the North. Calhoun, meanwhile, anonymously pens the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, which advocates a state's right to nullify federal laws which it opposes and deems unconstitutional.

Jackson wins Presidential election

Andrew Jackson, running on the Democratic ticket, ends Adams's bid for reelection. The Tennessee native wins the election with 56 percent of the popular vote and 178 electoral votes to Adams's 83.

Jackson Inaugurated

Andrew Jackson is sworn in as the seventh President of the United States.