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A portrait of John Quincy Adams

Summary of John Quincy Adams (Chapter II) from Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy

John Quincy Adams came to the Senate as a Massachusetts Federalist in 1803.  He quickly broke with his party, however, when he was the sole Federalist to vote in favor of the Louisiana Purchase. Adams continued voting against his party, but it was not until 1807 that the final split between Adams and the Federalists occurred.  That year, Thomas Jefferson called upon Congress to enact an embargo against Great Britain to shut off international trade to retaliate against British aggression towards American merchant ships. The embargo would have had a disastrous effect upon the economy of Massachusetts. Adams agreed with Jefferson and helped steer the embargo bill to its enactment into law. This was in direct opposition to the Federalists, who had been following a philosophy of appeasement towards the British. A storm of protest ensued and Adams resigned from his seat in 1808.

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