- Adams, John Quincy
- (1767–1848)John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams and the sixth president of the United States (1825–1829). Adams spent almost his entire professional life in public service and politics, as diplomat, senator, secretary of state, president, and member of the House of Representatives. During much of his career, Adams advocated American expansion and strongly supported the concept of Manifest Destiny, which claimed the North American continent for the United States as divinely chosen redeemer nation and model to the world.One of his most important accomplishments as secretary of state during the Monroe-Administration was his negotiation of the Transcontinental Treaty (1819), which obtained east and west Florida from the Spanish Empire and extended the nation’s first transcontinental boundary to the Oregon coast in exchange for $5 million and a temporary recognition of Spanish claims to Texas. This treaty completed the Louisiana Purchase, developed a framework for further expansion, underlined American claims to the Pacific Coast, and thus corresponded with Adams’s vision of the United States as a global commercial power.His second accomplishment was the drafting of the Monroe Doctrine (1823). This highly influential statement of foreign policy principles summarized U.S. containment policy in the Western Hemisphere and hinted at a claim to hemispheric hegemony and a superior international role for the United States. The doctrine demanded European abstention from intervention in the Americas and pledged U.S. abstention from entanglements in the Old World. It also reiterated George Washington’s warnings against foreign entanglements and underlined the no-transfer principle of adjacent colonial dominions in North America from one European power to another.Driven by his antislavery views and his concern that further expansion would foster and sustain slave-holding in the United States, Adams led congressional opposition to the annexation of Texas (1836) and the Mexican-American War (1846–1848) in his post-presidential years.See also <
>.FURTHER READING:Bemis, Samuel Flagg. John Quincy Adams and the Foundations of American Foreign Policy . New York: Alfred E. Knopf, 1949;Weeks, William Earl. John Quincy Adams and the American Global Empire. Louisville: University Press of Kentucky, 1992.FRANK SCHUMACHER
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.