A Presidential Look: John Adams The Only Federalist President This Is A Paper About The Presidency Of John Adams. It Covers His Economic, Foreign, And Domestic Policies

1225 words - 5 pages

Matthew HelmA Presidential Look:John Adams - The Only Federalist PresidentJohn Adams was the second president of the United States of America. Over his term as president, Adams had to deal with many conflicts centered on the political climate, the economy, and foreign and domestic affairs.During the presidential campaign of 1796, Adams was the presidential candidate of the Federalist Party with Thomas Pinckney as the second most popular Federalist. Their opponents were former Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and Senator Aaron Burr on the Democratic-Republican ticket. Although most Federalists would have preferred Alexander Hamilton to be a candidate, they supported Adams all the same. In the end, Adams won and became President and Jefferson became Vice President. It was the first and only election to elect a President and Vice President from opposing tickets. The presence of a Democratic-Republican so high up in the Adams administration made it difficult at times for the president to promote his Federalist agenda and was the beginning of many conflicts.In an era of peace, a president with Adams' view of the office might have enjoyed a tranquil four years. However, from the start, the presidency of John Adams was dominated not by tranquility, but by a single issue that threatened to destroy the Union before the end of its first decade. It was fortunate for the nation, and for Adams' claim to presidential great-ness, that this single issue concerned foreign policy, the area in which the president had the most independent authority and the one for which Adams was best prepared for by experience. This issue was France.In 1796, Paris ended all diplomatic relations with the United States in response to Jay's Treaty of the previous year. Having expected the United States to uphold the Franco-American alliance of 1778, France was stunned when President Washington issued the Neutrality Proclamation, thus staying out of the French and British War. France was further stunned and angered when Jay's Treaty normalized relations with Britain (Akers 7). The French navy began to seize hundreds of American ships and millions of dollars worth of cargo without cause or compensation.As Adams took office, he had to pick up the pieces of Washington's shattered neutrality policy. Adams pledged a "fresh attempt at negotiations" and a willingness to correct any real wrong that was done to France and he recommended the building of a navy as the first line of defense and the expansion of the armed forces to protect the long coastline against French raiding parties (Akers 8). President Adams sent a diplomatic delegation (Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry) to Paris in 1797 to negotiate peace. Three French agents, Jean Conrad Hottinguer, Pierre Bellamy, and Lucien Hauteval, demanded a large cash bribe for the delegation to speak to French foreign minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, a huge loan to help fund the French wars as...

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