The son of John Adams, the illustrious patriot and second President
of the United States, John Quincy Adams had been an outstanding
diplomat, member of the U.S. Congress, and secretary of state before
becoming president. However, his election in 1824 was mired in controversy.
In that contest, no candidate received a majority of either the
popular or electoral votes, and the race was decided by the House
of Representatives. The House, led by Speaker Henry Clay, chose
Adams, even though Andrew Jackson had received the most votes. When
Adams in turn selected Clay as his Secretary of State, Jackson supporters
decried the "Corrupt Bargain."
Adams' ideas for using taxes for public works projects and scientific
exploration were not popular with the public, and he was not reelected.
After his presidency, Adams spent a long and distinguished career
in the House of Representatives, where he was a tireless opponent