John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) began his advocacy of the American System during his first term in Congress, as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and continued it throughout a career as a diplomat, Secretary of State, President, and Congressman. His concept was to develop the nation through upgrading its infrastructure and labor force, by using Federal government powers.
Adams was the first President to determine that it was Constitutional for the Federal government to fund and participate in building vital national infrastructure, such as the National Road. He also was a strong supporter of the Second National Bank of the United States, which played a critical role in financing the construction boom in canals and railroads that occurred during Adams’ 1825-1829 presidency, and of a government role in promoting science and technology.
Adams’ post-Presidential role in fighting against slavery in the U.S. Congress was totally in line with the American System tradition.