John Quincy Adams on U. S. Foreign Policy
"She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy"
By John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State (1821)
Reviewed by Francis P. Sempa, Contributing Editor
Text of speech: www.presidentialrhetoric.com/historicspeeches/adams_jq/foreignpolicy.html
"John Quincy Adams," wrote James E. Lewis, Jr., "was raised for greatness." His record of service to our country may be unparalleled. At age 14 he was secretary to the U.S. minister to Russia. Two years later, in 1783, he served as secretary to his father in France. President Washington appointed him minister to the Netherlands, and later minister to Portugal. President John Adams, his father, named him minister to Prussia.
John Quincy served in the Massachusetts state senate and the U.S. Senate in the early 1800s. Under President Madison, he served as minister to Russia, helped to negotiate an end to the War of 1812, and in 1815 became minister to Great Britain.
-Between 1817 and 1825, he served as President Monroe's Secretary of State. In 1825, after an election in which no candidate won a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams as President of the United States. He served one term as president and was soundly defeated in the election of 1828 by Andrew Jackson. He finished his career in public service by serving in the House of Representatives from 1830 until his death in 1848.
He is considered by most historians to have been a mediocre President, but one of our greatest Secretaries of State. It was in his role as Secretary of State that he delivered his famous foreign policy oration to the House of Representatives on July 4, 1821.
At the time he delivered the speech, there was strong sentiment in the United States in favor of actively intervening to support uprisings in Spain's empire in Latin America and Greek uprisings in the...