The Pursuit of the White House: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics and History

By G. Scott Thomas | Go to book overview

7.
The Candidates

JOHN ADAMS (F 1796, 1800)

Adams was always an impatient man. His grandson remembered that "his anger, when thoroughly roused, was, for a time, extremely violent." 1 His contemporaries knew firsthand of his restlessness. As a member of the Continental Congress, Adams agitated for independence well before most of his colleagues could face the shocking idea. He later played a key role in securing the appointment of George Washington to lead the Continental Army.

A man of Adams' temperament was hardly suited to the Vice Presidency, yet he was the first elected to the post. He sourly called it "the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived."2 He followed his eight years of inaction by winning election to the Presidency. Never an ardent Federalist, Adams nonetheless was heartily suspicious of the Democratic-Republicans. He was certain that Thomas Jefferson's dislike of England was motivated by nothing more than his pocketbook. "I wish somebody would pay his debt of seven thousand pounds to Britain . . . ," Adams wrote, "and then I believe his passions would subside, his reason return, and the whole man and his whole state become good friends of the Union and its government."3 Adams and Jefferson later became good friends themselves.


JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (DR 1824, NR 1828)

The eldest son of John Adams grew up in the family businesses: politics and diplomacy. John Quincy traveled with his father to the latter's assignment as commissioner to France in 1778. It was the beginning of a career that would take the son to his own ministerial posts in Russia and England, then on to be Secretary of State and President.

John Quincy Adams was like his father in other

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The Pursuit of the White House: A Handbook of Presidential Election Statistics and History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • How to Use This Book ix
  • Section 1. the Elections 1
  • 1. All Republicans, All Federalists: 1789-1816 3
  • 2. the Coming of Democracy: 1820-1852 15
  • 3. Waving the Bloody Shirt: 1856-1900 40
  • 4. the Road to Normalcy: 1904-1928 85
  • 5. Rendezvous with Destiny: 1932-1956 120
  • 6. Beyond the New Frontier: 1960-1984 155
  • Section 2. the Participants 191
  • 7. the Candidates 193
  • 8. the Parties 361
  • 9. the States 390
  • Notes 457
  • Selected Bibliography 475
  • Index 477
  • About the Author 487
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