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John Quincy Adams: One-Term Wonder


Part 3: The White House and Beyond

Taking office amid such unpopularity didn't deter Adams, who pushed ahead with a plan to develop thousands of miles of canals and roadways to connect the far-flung territories of the young country. (The Erie Canal, which linked the port of New York and the Great Lakes area, was completed during his presidency, as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the first railroad to carry freight and passengers.) He was a champion of the Bank of the United States, and he believed strongly in a strong national government. He also campaigned for a national university and observatory and for federal protection of Native American lands. These views made him many enemies.

The popular will was too much for him in 1828, and Andrew Jackson was elected. Just two years later, Adams was re-elected to the House of Representatives, where he served for 18 more years. He spoke out on Native American rights, on the advancement of science, on freedom of speech, and on the evil of slavery.

In 1848, he died of a stroke on the House floor.

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