Lec. 03/12 John Quincy Adams A note on John Quincy adams A. Three Careers Diplomatist (1794-1823) went back to days of American revolution president (1824-1828) only one term did not win popular or electoral college votes was voted for by the congress/senate Congressman (1830-1848) after he went back home, was bored and decided to run for congress was elected by overwhelming majorities until his death best know for this career * was involved in the struggle against the gag rule B. Adam and the Abolitionists was really mad about the gag rule had a lot of credibility and helped changed northern opinion about the gag rule Adams and the Fight against the gag rule opposed it on its passage but it passed with 82 democrats (did not like the abolitionists and did not want to talk about the abolition of slavery in congress) opposed it year after year until its repeal was a long campaign by Adams was not easy to get the gag rule up for discussion A. Arguments constitutional right of petition people died for it in revolution was sanctified by the constitution could not be denied to any american without denying constitutional rights didn't have a right to have right of petition approved but had the right to present a petition stating grievances and stating redress natural right of petition even american citizens have the right of petition by nature should be able to be heard by their leaders right of petition cannot be denied on any ground protect right of political expression because it was a constitutional and natural right, could not be denied on any ground even supported petitions to abolish union and support slavery ? thought that you had to maintain the right of petition itself wrote major treatise on rhetorical theory eloquent speaker B. Impact of Adams' Rhetoric repeal of the gag rule (1844) ?Old Man Eloquent? all of his activities were widely publicized in newspapers and pamphlets over time it had an impact of public opinion would make case against the gag rule and people in congressional districts would be opposed to gag rule ? people wanted to know that their representatives opposed it led to change in composition of congress changed votes in north and not south, 8 years after campaign started, the gag rule was repealed *was not an abolitionist, but he still supported repeal of the gag rule could not gag the right of petition and free speech became revered as ?old man eloquent? when he died, was the most popular person in the US and most popular person north of the mason dixon line defended free speech and free expression ? feared that if gag rule remained in place, most people's right to free speech would be restricted if they took away the right of abolitionists to speak now slavery could be discussed in the congress ? became impossible for congress to find an answer to ? led to war in 1860s
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