John Quincy Adams, part of the first presidential dynasty, initially won acclaim as Secretary of State under President James Monroe when his shrewd dealings helped the United States secure Florida from Spain. He later penned the Monroe Doctrine in which the United States asserted its claim to be the dominant power in the western hemisphere. In 1825, Adams won the presidency under a cloud of controversy after none of the four candidates received a majority of electoral votes. Though Andrew Jackson won the most votes in the popular election, the House of Representatives, with the help of Henry ClayA harsh political rival of Andrew Jackson and member of the Whig Party., elected Adams. This deal, decried by Jackson's supporters as a "corrupt bargain," rallied voters to Jackson, enabling him to handily defeat Adams in the 1828 election.
As President, Adams recommended several modernization projects and supported Clay's American SystemSystem advocated by Henry Clay for modernizing the nation's economy.. He signed the Tariff of 1828A divisive tariff that was supported by the north and opposed to by the south. that later sparked the Nullification CrisisThe theory that an individual state can void a federal law if it believes it to be unconstitutional. in South Carolina.
In 1830, Adams was elected to Congress as a representative of his home district of Plymouth, Massachusetts and faithfully served his constituents as a member of the National RepublicanThe political party comprised mostly of John Quincy Adams supporters./Whig PartyParty formed in the 1830s in opposition to the Democratic Party and Andrew Jackson. until his death in 1848. During his tenure in the House, he developed into an outspoken opponent of slavery.