Friday, February 27, 2009

[Founding] Father Issues

Part 2 of 12: Madison to Quincy Adams

Washington won the Revolutionary War. Adams and Jefferson are two-thirds of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. Try following that act.

James Madison (Sec. of State, Dem-Rep) 1809-1817 (re-elected) VP: George Clinton (died), Elbridge Gerry (died); FL: wife Dolley

Madison was a lot more interesting before his time in office. He led the charge to establish a federal government, focusing largely on his idea for a 3-branch government. Unfortunately, his Presidency fell during the unlucky year of 1812, in which the country nearly fell to the British. During the War of 1812, though, Generals Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, and Speaker of the House Henry Clay gained national attention. More on them later.

James Monroe (Sec. of State, Dem-Rep) 1817-1825 (re-elected) VP Daniel D. Tompkins; FL: wife Elizabeth

At this point it was almost a given that Secretary of State was the first step toward becoming President. Monroe was so popular that the only delegate not to vote for him for re-election did so only to maintain the unmatched status of Washington’s unanimous re-election. Domestically, he, with the help of Henry Clay, rolled out an agenda so non-partisan, it accomplished nothing, like Clay’s slavery-argument-perpetuating Missouri Compromise. On the world front, Monroe, with Clay and others, established Liberia as a place for freed slaves, but more famously announced the Monroe Doctrine, wherein he declared that Europe stay the fuck out of the Western Hemisphere. Apparently he hated pissing off Americans as much as he loved pissing off foreigners.

John Quincy Adams (Sec. of State, Dem-Rep-ish) 1825-1829 (just 1 term) VP: John C. Calhoun; FL: wife Louisa

Like his father, JQA was a shitty politician who was way smarter than everyone else. You’d think because he was Secretary of State, his election was a given. Actually, JQA had to (allegedly) plot with Clay in 1824 to steal the presidency from front-runner Andrew Jackson. For the next four years, Jackson and his newly formed Democratic Party prevented JQA from doing anything. It’s worth noting that of the first seven presidents, Washington to Jackson, the only Presidents not awarded a second term were John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Also worth noting is John Quincy Adams wrote the Monroe Doctrine. It was his idea. What a crappy politician.

Next Up – Jackson to Polk: Jackson Don't Wear No Whigs

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