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Published byWillis Parrish Modified over 7 years ago
The Not So Famous Guys Early presidents who have ended up less than revered.
# 6 John Quincy Adams The son of Founding Father John Adams. Born in Braintree. Massachussetts. He spent most of his youth traveling in Europe with his father, where he learned to speak French, Dutch, and German. He graduated from Harvard at 20 years old.
J.Q.A. Career John Quincy Adams was admitted to the bar in 1791, and practiced law in Boston for a short time, before beginning a careere as a diplomat. He served as Minister to the Netherlands (at 26!), Portugal, and Prussia, as we as becoming the first United States Minister to Russia. Adams served briefly as a Massachussetts State Representative, and spent five years as a U.S. Senator. Adams was a very successful Secretary of State, creating the Monroe Doctrine, and acquired Florida.
J.Q.A. Continued Adams became president in one of the most controversial elections in history, being chosen over Andrew Jackson by the House of Representatives. Jacksonians believe Adams and Speaker of the House Henry Clay worked out a bargain to keep Jackson out of the White House, which made it difficult for Adams to get legislation passed. As president J.Q.A. proposed many internal improvements including the building of many new canals, road, and bridges, which he did accomplish. He also proposed creating a national university and a national observatory, which were both blocked by enemies in congress. Adams supported high protective tariffs to pay for these projects, which made him even more unpopular in the South. Adams was overwhelmed by Jackson in the election of 1828, but went on the serve 17 more years in the House, where he fought against slavery, and famously was the chief council in the Amistad case.
# 8 Martin Van Buren Humble origins in upstate NY. Was a savvy politician, and member of an important political organization in NY. Made his way to the U.S. Senate Won favor with Jackson as his supporter in the North.
Van Buren Continued He served as governor of New York, Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Great Britain, before becoming VP to Jackson, becoming the first “coat tail” president. During Van Buren’s presidency the economy slipped into a panic, largely due to Jackson’s policies. This was the greatest economic downturn in US history to that point. Van Buren could do little to stop the economic problems in that day, and instead, continued to fight a new federal bank, required the use of hard money, and reduced government spending to almost nothing. His nickname became “Martin Van Ruin”. Later he would run as president on the “Free Soil” Party, but during his time in the presidency he did not challenge slavery. Van Buren is most remembered as a flashy dresser.
#9 William Henry Harrison Harrison was born into an elite Virginia family, and was well educated. Served in the Regular Army in many Indian Wars, primarily in the Northwest Territory, or what is now Ohio Indiana, and Michigan. He was the governor of the Indian Territory in what is now Indiana.
Harrison Continued He was the “hero” of the Battle of Tippecanoe, and was successful in the War of 1812. The Whigs picked him to be their presidential candidate because they thought he could get the same popular support that Jackson had. They depicted him as a hard drinking, hard fighting, frontiersman, none of which he really was. Harrison got sick and died after only a month in office, the first presidential death.
John Tyler Tyler was born to an elite Virginia family, and was educated at William and Mary Tyler served in the Virginia legislature and as a US Senator. He became Harrison’s VP in 1840, when the famous slogan was “Tippecanoe and Tyler too”.
Tyler Continued Tyler was the first VP to secede the death of a president, setting the precedent of secession of the VP. Tyler insisted in running the executive his own way, vetoing Whig banking bills, making him an enemy of both parties. He went on to annex Texas for the US, thus expanding slavery. He also sent envoys to negotiate a treaty of with China, and used the Monroe Doctrine to keep the British out of Hawaii. Tyler is most famous for having 10 kids with his first wife, marrying his second wife when she was 22 and he was 52, and taking a position in the Confederacy prior to the Civil War.
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