John Quincy Adams, the son of the 2nd President of The United States, John Adams, had a very interesting political career. After watching his father become the first Vice President and eventually second President, JQA wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, he did not have an easy path getting there. His dad was a federalist, and he was a whig. You may be surprised to learn that they belonged to different parties, but the Whig Party was just an evolved version of the Federalist Party (basically the same thing). The Whig Party (many years later) evolved into the Republican Party, with only slight changes made. Anyway, the road started off easy for JQA, as he was easily elected to many offices leading up to 1824 (was a minister to many countries, then a member of the Senate, and next the House of Representatives). His last office before running for (and winning) the Presidency was when he was the Secretary of State for almost all of James Monroe’s eight years in office (1817-1825). John Quincy Adams felt that he had enough experience to win the Presidency, and ran in 1824. This was probably the worst year in US history to run for President. It was loaded with many candidates that had equally large fanbases. At the end, four main candidates emerged (Henry Clay, William H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson, and John Quincy Adams). Andrew Jackson, a man with a completely new perspective on everything (Jacksonian Democracy) won both the electoral vote and the popular vote). However, it is required that a person wins a certain amount of electoral voted to win the Presidency. This number has changed over time due to the ever-changing population and landmass of the US, but at this time you needed 113 electoral votes to win. Because of how evenly spit the four candidates were, even Jackson couldn’t get this many votes (he received 99). JQA, on the other hand, came in second place as far as electoral votes and the popular vote (he received 81 electoral votes and 11% less of the popular vote than Jackson). This is what is called a contingent election. The congress now had to choose who they thought was best suited to be President. They chose John Quincy Adams, and he was inaugurated on March 4, 1825 (making him the 6th President). He was the only President ever to lose both the popular and electoral vote, and still be elected President.
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-In the next election (1829) Jackson beat JQA and became President, eventually serving the full eight years.
-JQA and Jackson both had the same running mate for Vice President in 1824 (John C. Calhoun).
-26.9% of Americans voted in this election.
-JQA’s dad, John Adams, died while his son was in office (on July 4, 1826, the same day as Thomas Jefferson).
-It was pretty ironic how contested and intense this election was, because James Monroe ran completely unopposed in the previous election (1820).
-JQA was the first President to be photographed.