John Quincy Adams: Domestic and Foreign Policy

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John Quincy Adams: Domestic and Foreign Policy
Adams believed strongly that it was constitutional and appropriate for the federal government to sponsor broad programs to improve American society and prosperity. He backed Henry Clay's proposed "American System," envisioning a national marketplace in which North and South, town and country, were tied together by trade and exchange. To realize this vision, Adams proposed to Congress an ambitious program involving the construction of roads, canals, educational institutions, and other initiatives. Lacking congressional allies, however, Adams was unable to maneuver most of these programs into law. Congress also blocked many of his foreign initiatives. His support of the so-called Tariff of Abominations of 1828, which protected American interests but caused higher prices, cost him popularity among the voters.

John Quincy Adams's administration achieved a mixed record in foreign affairs during his presidency. On the one hand, it substantially opened up trade through commercial treaties with a variety of nations, including Austria, Brazil, the Central American federation, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, which granted the United States reciprocal trading rights. Adams arranged to extend indefinitely a commercial convention with Britain and resolved outstanding questions regarding British seizure of property during the War of 1812. On the other hand, President Adams was prevented from resolving the ongoing issue of trade with the British West Indies, and rivals in Congress were determined to deny him any mark of success and thwarted his other efforts. For example, when the new Latin American republics, which had formerly been Spanish colonies, convened a congress in Panama to promote cooperation in the Western Hemisphere, they logically asked for delegates to attend from the American President who had authored the Monroe Doctrine. When Adams requested funding to send two delegates, southern congressmen strongly objected....
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