JQA brought order out of chaos in the State Department - he established the Bureau of Weights and Measures, providing a uniform system for markets for the first time in U.S. History. On foreign policy, he issued a standing order to follow the "Alternate Protocol" on international agreements (the U.S. needed to be listed first among the nations involved in at least one copy of the negotiated treaty), making sure that the U.S. was an equal partner in global affairs.
along the 49th Parallel, from the Lake of the Woods all the way to the Rocky Mountains. As far as the Oregon Territory was concerned, both nations agreed that it should remain open to U.S. settlement (de facto dual sovereignty). Both nations wanted to put the boundary issue to rest: the British wanted to focus on events in Europe, while the U.S. wanted to focus on Spain in North America, especially in Spanish Florida.
SecState JQA was the only one in Monroe's Cabinet that supported General Andrew Jackson's invasion of Spanish Florida (the others, like Crawford and Calhoun, were jockeying for position to pursue the Presidency in 1824). JQA argued that Jackson's invasion was justified in that the Spanish were allowing warriors from the Seminole nation to attack Americans in Georgia (Georgia was the homeland of the Seminole Nation). JQA convinced President James Monroe to support Jackson, which was a shrewd maneuver, in that Spain was now worried that Jackson could reek even more havoc on Florida. JQA was now able to negotiate with Spain for the purchase and transfer of Florida from a position of strength.
In the Election of 1820, President James Monroe received all of the Electoral Votes except one - JQA was the only other recipient of an Electoral Vote (that voter wanted Washington to be the only unanimous selection as President). After the election, JQA issued a prediction: Monroe's second term would be very fractious, and in that, he was correct. He understood that since there was only one political party (it wasn't a national political party yet, that would happen under the guidance of Martin Van Buren in the 1830s/1840s), and that would naturally lead to more competition and in-fighting within, especially among the various regions in the U.S.
SecState JQA was the author of what became known as the Monroe Doctrine (1823), which in essence stated that European nations were no longer welcome to colonize in the Western Hemisphere. The Doctrine worked because Europe (especially Britain, who actually enforced the Doctrine for a few decades) figured out that it would be far less-costly and far-more profitable to trade with America. With no more worries of foreign invaders, western expansion intensified with the construction of turnpikes and canals (almost entirely funded by and constructed at the state level). Also, with no more worries of foreign invaders, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, William Crawford, and Andrew Jackson were able to focus on the Election of 1824; only JQA stayed loyal, silent, and above the fray during Monroe's second term. JQA refused to actively campaign - he believed that merit and conduct should be the main qualifiers. So, JQA's wife, Louisa, pulled a page from the Dolley Madison playbook, and used levees (receptions) as a de facto political tool for her husband.
The Electoral College results for the Election of 1824 were as follows: Jackson, 99; JQA 84; Crawford, 41; Clay, 37. Since no candidate received a majority, the election would be decided in the House of Representatives (only the top three were eligible). During deliberation in the House, Clay (who was again Speaker) convinced the representatives of Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri to support JQA. Shortly thereafter, JQA announced that Clay would be his SecState - JQA's victory appalled most Americans, and Jackson took full advantage, calling the result in the House a "Corrupt Bargain." Jackson (and most other politicians in Congress) would spend the next four years making life very difficult for President John Quincy Adams.
JQA's Inaugural Address did not resonate with most Americans - the former diplomat / SecState had spent so much time abroad, and was so well-educated, that he didn't have his finger on the pulse of the nation. JQA advocated federal funding for transportation, which very few Americans supported at that time, and he used many quotes from his classical education, which meant that his address was that of an "Egg Head", so to speak. The Inaugural Ball would be the last joyous moment of his Presidency - no President in our history had such a short honeymoon in office.
JQA's erudition meant that he was constantly misunderstood in his speeches; he even seemed to be against the "Common Man", which Jackson used to his advantage. JQA (far ahead of his time) envisioned an educated, literate America with the federal government providing assistance. The reality of JQA's time was that America was a nation of small land owners and laborers that had big expectations; these citizens wanted their physical needs to be met far more than their intellectual needs. As a result, JQA was roundly ridiculed and rejected, and was not only seen as irrelevant, but also as an obstacle to the progress of the nation. The overall feeling of most Americans was that less government, not more, was preferable. JQA became severely depressed, and he basically stopped working, and became a spectator in his own Presidency.
The off-year elections of 1826 added to the Jacksonian majority in both houses, further increasing JQA's malaise. The best-prepared, most experienced person to become President to that point in history was by far the least effective and the least-popular of the first six Presidents. JQA did not understand why he was so reviled - he never quite made the connection that he was a master at relating to the Czar, but that skill-set did not transfer in terms of connecting to the average citizen.
The Election of 1828 was a rematch, and a mismatch - Jackson had 178 Electoral Votes to JQA's 83 . . . for JQA, the results were a mix of humiliation and relief. JQA went back home to Massachusetts, but in 1830, he made a decision that would not only bring him back into national level politics, but would also make him a prominent (and admired/hated) national figure - JQA became the only former President to be elected to the House of Representatives, and the first major political figure that championed the abolition of slavery . . .
on the Election of 1824, the Presidency of JQA, and the Election of 1828)