Not nearly as talked about his father, John Quincy was a true New Englander child of the revolution. By age seven he was reading the Patriot Press. At age nine he witnessed the Battle of Bunker Hill first-hand. And he hated the British even more than his dad did.
At the time he was elected, he might have been the most overqualified presidential candidate we’ve ever seen: he’d served in the Massachusetts legislature, was an expert diplomat, had been Secretary of State under Monroe, and is credited with—despite his anti-British bias—planting the seeds of lasting peace with America’s arch-nemesis England.
But in office, he was blocked at every turn by the rip-roaring Jacksonian democrats who accused him of overstepping his authority and beat him by a landslide after one unproductive term. What’s remarkable, though, is what he envisioned for the young country, despite his inability to accomplish it: an interstate road system. A national astronomical program. Government aid to education. A naval academy. All of it would happen—just not during his presidency.
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