Founding Presidents (1789-1829)
- George Washington: The Father of the United States – Lesson
- John Adams: A Stubborn but Dedicated Leader – Lesson
- Thomas Jefferson: The Author of Independence – Lesson
- Founding Presidents: Washington, Adams, and Jefferson – Quiz
- James Madison: The Father of the Constitution – Lesson
- James Monroe: Opposing the Federalists – Lesson
- John Quincy Adams: The Federalists who Abandoned the Party – Lesson
- Founding Presidents: Madison, Monroe, and Adams – Quiz
Civil War Presidents (1829-1869)
- Andrew Jackson: The First Democrat – Lesson
- Martin Van Buren: The Little Magician – Lesson
- Civil War Presidents: Jackson and Van Buren – Quiz
- William Henry Harrison: The Indian-Fighter – Lesson
- John Tyler: The First President to Not Be Elected – Lesson
- James Polk: Young Hickory – Lesson
- Zachary Taylor: Old Rough and Ready – Lesson
- Millard Fillmore: The Last Whig President – Lesson
- Franklin Pierce: A President Ruined by Slavery – Lesson
- Franklin Pierce: A President Ruined by Slavery – Quiz
- James Buchanan: A President for States’ Rights – Lesson
- James Buchanan: A President for States’ Rights – Quiz
- Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator – Lesson
- Abraham Lincoln: The Great Emancipator – Quiz
- Andrew Johnson: The First President to Be Impeached – Lesson
Reconstruction Presidents (1865-1901)
- Ulysses S. Grant: A Friend of Mark Twain – Lesson
- Ulysses S. Grant: A Friend of Mark Twain – Quiz
- Rutherford B. Hayes: The First President to Lose the Popular Vote – Lesson
- Rutherford B. Hayes: The First President to Lose the Popular Vote – Quiz
- James A. Garfield: The Last of the Log Cabin Presidents – Lesson
- James A. Garfield: The Last of the Log Cabin Presidents – Quiz
- Chester A. Arthur: A One Term President – Lesson
- Chester A. Arthur: A One Term President – Quiz
- Grover Cleveland: A President of Principle – Lesson
- Grover Cleveland: A President of Principle – Quiz
- Benjamin Harrison: The Second President in His Family – Lesson
- Benjamin Harrison: The Second President in His Family – Quiz
- William McKinley: The Third Presidential Assassination – Lesson
- William McKinley: The Third Presidential Assassination – Quiz
20th Century Presidents
- Richard Nixon: The Only President to Ever Resign – Lesson
- Richard Nixon: The Only President to Ever Resign – Quiz
- Gerald Ford – America’s First Unelected President – Lesson
- Gerald Ford – America’s First Unelected President – Quiz
- Jimmy Carter – the President Who Promised He’d Never Lie – Lesson
- Jimmy Carter – the President Who Promised He’d Never Lie – Quiz
- Ronald Reagan – The ‘Peace Through Strength’ President – Lesson
- Ronald Reagan – The ‘Peace Through Strength’ President – Quiz
John Quincy Adams: The Federalists who Abandoned the Party – Lesson
John Quincy Adams was a federalist, but he eventually grew tired of party politics.
John Quincy Adams (1767–1848) was the sixth president of the United States. He was born on July 11, 1767, in Quincy, Massachusetts – which was called Braintree at the time, not to be confused with the modern small town of Braintree.
John was introduced to politics at a young age. When he was ten, his father John Adams took him on a diplomatic mission to France. He studied at European universities and was fluent in seven languages. In 1785, he entered Harvard College, graduating two years later. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1790. He practiced his trade in Boston.
In 1794, President George Washington appointed John as a U.S. minister to the Netherlands. When John Adams was elected president in 1796, he appointed his son, John Quincy Adams, as minister to Prussia (Germany). When his father lost the presidency to Thomas Jefferson in 1800, young John returned and reopened his practice in Boston. In 1802, he was elected to Massachusetts State Senate, and the following year the U.S. Senate.
Although John was a Federalist, he began to sour on party politics and even voted against his party on several issues, including Jefferson’s Embargo Act of 1807. Disgusted with the political scene, he returned to Harvard where he had been made a professor. But not for long. The next year, President James Madison appointed John as ambassador to the Russian court of Czar Alexander I. War broke out between the United States and Britain, and, in 1814, John went to Belgium and negotiated the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812.
President James Monroe named John his secretary of state in 1817. During that appointment, he helped negotiate the joint occupation of Oregon with England, and to obtain Florida from Spain.
It was time for John to seek his chance at the presidency, and in 1824 he entered a five-way race for the coveted office. Opposing John Quincy Adams were Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and General Andrew Jackson. For the first time, however, no candidate received a majority of electoral votes, so the House of Representatives made the decision.
Although John Quincy Adams ran for a second presidential term, he became only the second president to fail to win; the first had been his father in 1800. He returned home and then in 1830 won an election to the House of Representatives, where he served for the rest of his life. After suffering two strokes, John passed away at the age of 80 on February 23, 1848.