John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States, won the job due to a technicality, starting his presidency off on an eventful note. He lost the popular and electoral vote to Andrew Jackson; however, no candidate had a majority, so the House of Representatives made the choice.Continue Reading
Following his election, Adams named Henry Clay his Secretary of State, which prompted his critics to claim he and Clay had made an agreement prior to Adams' election as president.
Adams, in his first annual message, urged the country to develop a system of highways and canals. He made good on his promise and the Erie Canal was completed in 1826. This canal linked the Great Lakes with the Hudson River. In 1828, construction began on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Adams also attempted to establish a national system of weights and measurements, as well as a national university, but found that Congress refused to move most of his programs forward.
Also in 1828, a controversial bill known as the Tariff of Abominations passes in Congress. The bill proved unpopular around the country, and Adams' 1828 presidential opponent, Andrew Jackson, opposed it, which heightened his popularity. During the bitter campaign, Adams' wife, Rachel, was accused of bigamy. Jackson defeated Adams by 178 electoral votes to 83 and won 57 percent of the popular vote.Learn more about US History