(research on why) John Quincy Adams was consider the best Secretary of State in U.S. History - Essay Example

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Throughout the history of United States, John Quincy Adams’s service as a Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Monroe (1817-1825) was believed to be the greatest (Herring, 2008: 129). In fact, Adams was regarded as the best Secretary of State of all times. His…
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John Quincy Adams: The Greatest Secretary of in United s Outline Paragraph John Quincy Adams as the Greatest Secretary of in U.S.
Paragraph 2: The Treaty of 1818
Paragraph 3: Florida Treaty
Paragraph 4: Monroe Doctrine
Paragraph 5: Conclusion
Throughout the history of United States, John Quincy Adams’s service as a Secretary of State in the Cabinet of President James Monroe (1817-1825) was believed to be the greatest (Herring, 2008: 129). In fact, Adams was regarded as the best Secretary of State of all times. His service was the most outstanding among the others for many reasons. Though what really made his performance as a secretary the most remarkable were the Treaty of 1818, Florida Treaty and Monroe Doctrine.
First was the Treaty of 1818 with Britain. According to LaFeber (1994: 78), Adams had effectively settled the issues, including the problems of boundary between western United States and Canada, left by the Treaty of Ghent. Among the many provisions of this treaty, the highlight of the agreement was setting the boundary between British North America and the United States. Britain was told to abandon the Northern access to the Mississippi River.
Another among Adams’s stunning successes as a Secretary of State was his triumphant acquisition of Florida. Ever since the purchase of Lousiana, border issues particularly concerning Florida had been a problem (Peil, 1997). Different administrations struggled to include Florida, which was back then was a Spanish territory without any presence of the Spaniards but with runaway slaves and Indian raiders. Despite all the efforts, it was only Adams who had victoriously negotiated the territory of Florida through making the Spanish minister sign the Florida Treaty, also known as the Adams Onis Treaty. Thus, the Spaniards had given up to United States all the entitlement to Florida. This former secretary was able to successfully won Florida to United States through justifying that events that involved General Andrew Jackson such as forcing the Indians to go south, exterminated the British suppliers of weapons, and others, were just evidences that Spain could not govern her territory (Chace and Carr, 1988).
Moreover, another striking achievement of Adams was the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. Indeed, this doctrine had the name of the president on it but Adams was primarily the author of the said policy. According to LaFeber (1994) and Tremblay (2004: 133-134) , the Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States of America would consider all efforts of the European powers to colonize or interfere with the states inside the boundaries of America as forms of offense. Thus, the United States should intervene in all the kinds of invasion by the European countries. This policy was a mechanism serving as prevention from any attempts of the European worlds of taking over the Spanish colonies. For Adams (1821), this doctrine only showed that America was never for armed interference but for a principled support for independent movements. In this regard, Adams designed a doctrine which had been a very significant strategy in the foreign policy of the United States. His strategic planning on addressing the issues of boundaries did not only benefit Monroe’s supremacy but also his administration when he had become the president, and as well as those of the several presidents of United States that came after him.
Indeed, John Quincy Adams, during his service as a Secretary of State in the Monroe Administration, had achieved the most notable accomplishments which were not even exceeded by the other Secretaries of States throughout the history of United States. He, being a great thinker as well as a great leader, had definitely contributed advantageous approaches that greatly assisted the welfare of America. He was just a Secretary of State that time but his major achievements had gone beyond the other secretaries’ and even those of the presidents.
Adams, John Quincy (1821) Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on foreign policy, Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. Available: [7 Jan 2011]
Chace, James and Carr, Caleb (1988) The odd couple who won Florida and half the West. (Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams) Smithsonian. Available: [7 Jan 2011]
Herring, George C. (2008). From colony to superpower: U.S. foreign relations since 1776, 1st edition, Oxford University Press.
LaFeber, Walter (1994) The American age: U.S. foreign policy at home and abroad 1750 to the present, 2nd edition, New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Peil, Michael (1997) Biography of John Quincy Adams. Available: [7 Jan 2011]
Tremblay, Rodrigue (2004) The new American empire, Infinity Publishing. Read More
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