John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat and diarist who served as the sixth president of the United States from 1825 to 1829. He served as the eighth United States Secretary of State from 1817 to 1825. During his long diplomatic and political career, Adams served as an ambassador, represented Massachusetts as a United States Senator and as a member of the United States House of Representatives, he was the eldest son of John Adams, who served as the second US president from 1797 to 1801. A Federalist like his father, he won election to the presidency as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party, in the mid-1830s became affiliated with the Whig Party. Born in Braintree, Adams spent much of his youth in Europe, where his father served as a diplomat. After returning to the United States, Adams established a successful legal practice in Boston. In 1794, President George Washington appointed Adams as the U. S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Adams would serve in high-ranking diplomatic posts until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson took office as president.
Federalist leaders in Massachusetts arranged for Adams's election to the United States Senate in 1802, but Adams broke with the Federalist Party over foreign policy and was denied re-election. In 1809, Adams was appointed as the U. S. ambassador to Russia by a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams held diplomatic posts for the duration of Madison's presidency, he served as part of the American delegation that negotiated an end to the War of 1812. In 1817, newly-elected President James Monroe selected Adams as his Secretary of State. In that role, Adams negotiated the Adams–Onís Treaty, which provided for the American acquisition of Florida, he helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine, which became a key tenet of U. S. foreign policy. The 1824 presidential election was contested by Adams, Andrew Jackson, William H. Crawford, Henry Clay, all of whom were members of the Democratic-Republican Party; as no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the House of Representatives held a contingent election to determine the president, Adams won that contingent election with the support of Clay.
As president, Adams called for an ambitious agenda that included federally-funded infrastructure projects, the establishment of a national university, engagement with the countries of Latin America, but many of his initiatives were defeated in Congress. During Adams's presidency, the Democratic-Republican Party polarized into two major camps: one group, known as the National Republican Party, supported President Adams, while the other group, known as the Democratic Party, was led by Andrew Jackson; the Democrats proved to be more effective political organizers than Adams and his National Republican supporters, Jackson decisively defeated Adams in the 1828 presidential election. Rather than retiring from public service, Adams won election to the House of Representatives, where he would serve from 1831 to his death in 1848, he joined the Anti-Masonic Party in the early 1830s before becoming a member of the Whig Party, which united those opposed to President Jackson. During his time in Congress, Adams became critical of slavery and of the Southern leaders whom he believed controlled the Democratic Party.
He was opposed to the annexation of Texas and the Mexican–American War, which he saw as a war to extend slavery. He led the repeal of the "gag rule," which had prevented the House of Representatives from debating petitions to abolish slavery. Historians concur that Adams was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history, but they tend to rank him as an average president. John Quincy Adams was born on July 11, 1767, to John and Abigail Adams in a part of Braintree, Massachusetts, now Quincy, he was named for his mother's maternal grandfather, Colonel John Quincy, after whom Quincy, Massachusetts, is named. Young Adams was educated by private tutors – his cousin James Thaxter and his father's law clerk, Nathan Rice, he soon began to exhibit his literary skills, in 1779 he initiated a diary which he kept until just before he died in 1848. Until the age of ten, Adams grew up on the family farm in Braintree in the care of his mother. Though absent due to his participation in the American Revolution, John Adams maintained a correspondence with his son, encouraging him to read works by authors like Thucydides and Hugo Grotius.
With his father's encouragement, Adams would translate classical authors like Virgil, Horace and Aristotle. In 1778, Adams and his father departed for Europe, where John Adams would serve as part of American diplomatic missions in France and the Netherlands. During this period, Adams studied French and Latin, attended several schools, including Leiden University. In 1781, Adams traveled to Saint Petersburg, where he served as the secretary of American diplomat Francis Dana, he returned to the Netherlands in 1783, accompanied his father to Great Britain in 1784. Though Adams enjoyed Europe, he and his family decided he needed to return to the United States to complete his education and launch a political career. Adams returned to the United States in 1785 and earned admission as a member of the junior class of Harvard College the following year, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and excelled academically, graduating second in his class in 1787. After graduating from Harvard, he studied law with Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport, Massachusetts from 1787 to 1789.
Adams opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution, but he came to accept the document, in 1789 his father was elected
Robert M. T. Hunter
Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter was a Virginia lawyer and plantation owner. He was a U. S. Representative, Speaker of the House, U. S. Senator. During the American Civil War, Hunter became the Confederate States Secretary of State and a Confederate Senator and critic of President Jefferson Davis. After the war, Hunter failed to win re-election to the U. S. Senate, but did serve as the Treasurer of Virginia before retiring to his farm. After fellow Democrat Grover Cleveland was elected President of the United States in 1884, Hunter became the customs collector for the port of Tappahannock until his death. Born at the "Mount Pleasant" plantation near Loretto, Essex County, Virginia to James Hunter and his wife Maria Hunter, R. M. T. Hunter was descended from the First Families of Virginia, his mother's father, Henry Garnett was one of the county's largest landowners, her brother James M. Garnett was the U. S. Congressman representing the area. However, Maria Hunter died shortly after giving birth to William Garnett Hunter, when Robert M. T.
Hunter was two years old, shortly after one of his elder brothers William Hunter, died at age 5. Educated first by private tutors, R. M. T. Hunter entered the University of Virginia when he was seventeen, shortly after his father's death, became one of its first graduates. While a student, Hunter became a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society studied law at the Winchester Law School. In 1830 Hunter was admitted to the Virginia bar. In 1834 he was elected to represent Essex County in the Virginia House of Delegates, succeeding Richard Baylor. R. M. T. Hunter won re-election in 1835 and 1836, but resigned upon winning election to the U. S. Congress as discussed next. In 1837, Hunter was elected U. S. Representative as a States Rights Whig, he was re-elected in 1839, became Speaker of the United States House of Representatives – the youngest person to hold that office. He was not chosen Speaker. In 1843 he was defeated for re-election, but returned in 1844. Hunter favored annexing Texas and compromise on the Oregon question, led efforts to retrocede the City of Alexandria back to Virginia.
After losing the 1842 election, Hunter changed parties. In 1845, he again took the oath of office as an elected Congressman, supported the Tariff of 1846. In 1846 the Virginia General Assembly elected Hunter U. S. Senator, he assumed office in 1847 and won re-election in 1852 and 1858. Hunter continued to support slavery and its extension: favoring extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, opposing abolishing the slave trade in the District of Columbia as well as any interference with its operation in any state or territory, supported the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Senator Hunter delivered an address in Richmond supporting states’ rights in 1852, in the 1857-58 Congressional session advocated admitting Kansas under the pro-slavery Lecompton constitution. In the Senate, Hunter became chairman of the Committee on Finance in 1850, he is credited with bringing about a reduction of the quantity of silver in small silver denominations, helping push forward Senate Bill No. 271 which would become the Coinage Act of 1853.
Hunter drafted and sponsored the Tariff of 1857 and creation of the bonded-warehouse system, although federal revenues were thereby reduced. He advocated civil service reform. In 1853 Senator Hunter declined President Millard Fillmore's offer to make him Secretary of State. In January 1860 Hunter delivered a speech in favor of slavery and the right of slaveholders to carry their slaves into the territories. At the first session of the 1860 Democratic National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, Hunter was a contender for the presidential nomination, but received little support except from the Virginia delegation. On seven of the first eight ballots, he was a distant second to the leader, Stephen A. Douglas, was third on the remaining 42 ballots; when the convention reconvened in Baltimore, most Southerners withdrew, including Hunter, Douglas won the party's nomination. Hunter did not regard Lincoln's election as being of itself sufficient cause for secession. On January 11, 1861, he proposed an elaborate but impracticable scheme to adjust differences between the North and the South.
When this and several other similar efforts failed, Hunter urged his own state to pass the ordinance of secession in April 1861. He was expelled from the Senate for supporting secession. One scheme proposed him as president of the new Confederate government, with fellow former U. S. Senator Jefferson Davis as commander of the Confederate States Army. Voters in parts of Virginia which had not seceded elected Unionist John S. Carlile to fill the rest of Hunter's term. In July 1861, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Hunter the Confederate States Secretary of State, he resigned on February 1862, after his election as a Confederate Senator. Hunter served in the Confederate Senate in Richmond, Virginia until the war's end, was at times President pro tem, his portrait appeared on the Confederate $10 bill. As a Confederate Senator, Hunter became an caustic critic of Confederate President Davis. Despite this friction, Davis appointed Hunter as one of three commissioners sent to attempt peace negotiations in February 1865.
Hunter met with President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward at the Hampton Roads Conference. However, afte
Virginia's 9th congressional district
Virginia's ninth congressional district is a United States congressional district in the Commonwealth of Virginia, covering much of the southwestern part of the state. The 9th is Virginia's second-largest district in area. Since 2011 it has been represented by Morgan Griffith, who took office after defeating Rick Boucher, the district's representative for 1983-2011; the white district was aligned with the Democratic Party well into the 20th century, when Virginia was among the Solid South states and African Americans were disenfranchised. Since the 1990s its voters have cast ballots for Republican presidential candidates, it last supported a Democrat for president in 1996, has supported a Democrat in only two statewide contests since then. Republican presidential candidate John McCain received 59% of the vote in the 9th district in 2008, his best performance in any of Virginia's eleven congressional districts; the 9th District is the only district in Virginia that cast more votes for Hillary Clinton than Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary.
Clinton won more than 60% of the vote. As of 2017, the 9th District had the highest poverty rate of any Virginia Congressional District, at 18.7 percent. It covers all or part of the following political subdivisions: The entirety of: Lee Wise Dickenson Buchanan Scott Russell Tazewell Washington Smyth Bland Giles Grayson Wythe Pulaski Montgomery Carroll Craig Floyd PatrickPortions of: Alleghany Roanoke Henry Bristol Covington Galax Martinsville Norton Radford Salem In the November 6, 2018 general election, incumbent Morgan Griffith is opposed by Democrat Anthony Flaccavento, a farmer, community leader, small business owner from Abingdon, Virginia. Virginia's congressional districts List of United States congressional districts Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
Virginia's 18th congressional district
Virginia Congressional District 18 is an obsolete congressional district. It was eliminated in 1843 after the 1840 U. S. Census, its last Congressman was George W. Hopkins. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution; the Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives, is the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, the institution's administrative head. Speakers perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the Speaker does not preside over debates; that duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the Speaker participate in floor debates; the Constitution does not require the Speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every Speaker thus far has been. The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and ahead of the President pro tempore of the Senate.
The current House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California, was elected to the office on January 3, 2019. Pelosi served as speaker from January 4, 2007 to January 3, 2011, she has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as Speaker, is the first former Speaker to be returned to office since Sam Rayburn in 1955. The House elects its speaker at the beginning of a new Congress or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. Since 1839, the House has elected speakers by roll call vote. Traditionally, each party's caucus or conference selects a candidate for the speakership from among its senior leaders prior to the roll call. Representatives are not restricted to voting for the candidate nominated by their party, but do, as the outcome of the election determines which party has the majority and will organize the House. Moreover, as the Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone, not a member of the House at the time, non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years.
Every person elected speaker has been a member. Representatives that choose to vote for someone other than their party's nominated candidate vote for someone else in their party or vote "present". Anyone who votes for the other party's candidate would face serious consequences, as was the case when Democrat Jim Traficant voted for Republican Dennis Hastert in 2001. In response, the Democrats stripped him of his seniority and he lost all of his committee posts. To be elected speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast, as opposed to an absolute majority of the full membership of the House – presently 218 votes, in a House of 435. There have only been a few instances during the past century where a person received a majority of the votes cast, thus won the election, while failing to obtain a majority of the full membership, it happened most in 2015, when John Boehner was elected with 216 votes. Such a variation in the number of votes necessary to win a given election might arise due to vacancies, absentees, or members being present but not voting.
If no candidate wins a majority of the "votes cast for a person by name" the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. Multiple roll calls have been necessary only 14 times since 1789. Upon winning election the new Speaker is sworn in by the Dean of the United States House of Representatives, the chamber's longest-serving member; the first Speaker of the House, Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, was elected to office on April 1, 1789, the day the House organized itself at the start of the 1st Congress. He served two non-consecutive terms in the Speaker's chair, 1789–1791 and 1793–1795; as the Constitution does not state the duties of the Speaker, the speaker’s role has been shaped by traditions and customs that evolved over time. A partisan position from early in its existence, the speakership began to gain power in legislative development under Henry Clay. In contrast to many of his predecessors, Clay participated in several debates, used his influence to procure the passage of measures he supported—for instance, the declaration of the War of 1812, various laws relating to Clay's "American System" economic plan.
Furthermore, when no candidate received an Electoral College majority in the 1824 presidential election causing the President to be elected by the House, Speaker Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams instead of Andrew Jackson, thereby ensuring Adams' victory. Following Clay's retirement in 1825, the power of the speakership once again began to decline, despite speakership elections becoming bitter; as the Civil War approached, several sectional factions nominated their own candidates making it difficult for any candidate to attain a majority. In 1855 and again in 1859, for example, the contest for Speaker lasted for two months before the House achieved a result. During this time, Speakers tended to have short tenures. For example, from 1839 to 1863 there were eleven Speakers, only one of whom served for more than one term. To date, James K. Polk is the only Speaker of the House elected President of the United States. Towards the end of the 19th century, the office of Speaker began to develop into a po
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. Four presidents belonged to the party while in office, it emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonian democracy, pulling together former members of the National Republican and the Anti-Masonic Party. It had some links to the upscale traditions of the long-defunct Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s, it formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. It became a formal party within his second term, receded influence after 1854. In particular terms, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing, it appealed to entrepreneurs, planters and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal.
Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not related to the British Whig party. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide: The Whig Party nominated several presidential candidates in 1836. General William Henry Harrison of Ohio was nominated in 1840, former Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky in 1844, General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana in 1848, General Winfield Scott of New Jersey in 1852 and the last nominee, former President Millard Fillmore from New York in 1856. In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates and Taylor, elected president and both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the presidency after Harrison's death in 1841, but was expelled from the party that year. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death in 1850, was the last Whig President; the party fell apart because of internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories.
With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full term of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election—instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders quit politics or changed parties; the Northern voter base gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become defunct having endorsed Millard Fillmore's candidacy; some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election. Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades, played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction; the name "Whig" repeated the term that Patriots used to refer to themselves during the American Revolution.
It indicated hostility to the king. Despite the identical name it did not directly derive from the British Whig Party; the American Whigs were modernizers who saw President Andrew Jackson as "a dangerous man on horseback"—like a king—with a "reactionary opposition" to the forces of social and moral modernization. The Democratic-Republicans who formed the Whig Party, led by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, drew on a Jeffersonian tradition of compromise, balance in government and territorial expansion combined with national unity and support for a Federal transportation network and domestic manufacturing. Casting their enemy as "King Andrew", they sought to identify themselves as modern-day opponents of governmental overreaching. Despite the apparent unity of Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans from 1800 to 1824, the American people preferred partisan opposition to popular political agreement; as Jackson purged his opponents, vetoed internal improvements and killed the Second Bank of the United States, alarmed local elites fought back.
In 1831, Henry Clay started planning a new party. He defended national rather than sectional interests. Clay's plan for distributing the proceeds from the sale of lands in the public domain among the states was intended to serve the nation by providing the states with funds for building roads and canals, which would stimulate growth and knit the sections together. However, his Jacksonian opponents distrusted the federal government and opposed all federal aid for internal improvements and they again frustrated Clay's plan. Jacksonians promoted opposition to the National Bank and internal improvements and support of egalitarian democracy, state power and hard money; the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 had outraged Southern feelings—the South's leaders held that the high duties on foreign imports gave an advantage to the North. Clay's own high tariff schedule of 1832 further disturbed them as did his stubborn defense of high duties as necessary to his American System. However, Clay moved to pass the Compromise of 1833, which met Southern complaints by a gradual reduction of the rates on imports to a maximum of twenty percent.
Controlling the Senate for a while, Whigs passed a censure motion denouncing Jackson's arrogant assumption of executive power in the face of the true will of the people as represented by Congress. The Whig Party began to take shape in 1833. Clay had run as a National Republican against J
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader