Summary of Jfk's Profiles in Courage

Topics: John Quincy Adams, Compromise of 1850, Daniel Webster Pages: 4 (1509 words) Published: January 19, 2006
John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage discusses the presence of moral fiber, or courage, in the careers of 8 different Senators. Throughout the book, Kennedy tells accounts of how a select few Senators showed courage and displayed moral fiber by standing their ground on certain issues when their party and constituents were in great opposition to them. In Profiles of Courage, Kennedy dedicates one chapter to each Senator and his tale of courage. The following Senators were used: John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam Houston, Edmund G. Ross, Lucius Lamar, George Norris, and Robert A. Taft. John Quincy Adams became a Senator as a Massachusetts Federalist in 1803, but soon broke away from his party. When the time came to vote on the buying of the Louisiana Purchase, Adams was the only member of the Federalist Party to vote in favor of the purchase. Even under the pressure of his fellow party members to conform to their views, Adams persisted in voting in favor of the purchase and in favor of other issues he thought to be right even when the rest of his party voted otherwise. In 1807, when Adams officially split away from the Federalists, Thomas Jefferson proposed an embargo against Great Britain in response to Britain's aggression towards American merchant ships. Although this would severely harm the Massachusetts economy and was in direct opposition to the Federalist desires, Adams helped Jefferson pass the law because it was the right thing to do in his mind. He stood by his beliefs even in times of adversity and even when the decisions he made ultimately ended up in his resignation to appease protesters. Daniel Webster, a Massachusetts Senator affiliated with the Whig Party showed perseverance and courage in standing up to criticism and opposition when he agreed to help Henry Clay push a compromise bill though Congress. In his famous speech, known as his Seventh of March Address, he contended that it was pointless to argue about the...
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