28 Jimmy Carter

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

Jimmy Carter entered the presidency as a Washington outsider, and in many ways this hindered his presidency. While being an outsider from Washington politics would certainly endear him to voters, it alienated him from congress. He also found delegating nearly impossible, and was quickly overwhelmed in the White House.

Carter tried to champion human rights in foreign policy, but this led to many poor decisions, as he didn’t take practical realities into account. The Mariel boatlift was a massive emigration of Cubans to the US where Carter allowed Cuba to empty it’s prisons into boats and send them to the United States. Fidel Castro publicly said “I have flushed the toilets of Cuba on the United States.” In Nicaragua, Carter – withdrew support from Somoza regime leading to the rise of the communist Sandinista government. In Panama, He gave away the Panama Canal away one of the most strategic areas in the word to a dictator during the cold war.

In negotiations with China, Carter reiterated the Shanghai Communiqué’s acknowledgment of the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. Carter also announced the withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Taiwan and the end to the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty signed with the Taiwan. Basically Carter gave away a sovereign free nation to a Communist one, while voiding a long standing treaty without getting proper permission from congress.

In 1977 Carter withdrew support for the Shah of Iran, which led to the overthrow of the government and the installation of the radical Islamic Ayatollahs. Iran had long been on of the “Twin Pillars” upon which US middle eastern policy had been built, Saudi Arabia was the other. This quickly led to the Iranian Hostage Crisis, in which 54 Americans were held hostage for 444 days. Carter did try operation eagle claw, a badly planned rescue attempt that inevitably failed.

When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Carter’s response was a rather weak one. He terminated soviet wheat deal which hurt American farmers. He prohibited American athletes from participating in the Olympics in Moscow. He re-instated the military draft, even though there was no war. Carter further withdrew SALT II treaty.

Carter mediated the Camp David Accords between Egypt & Israel, in which Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace with Egypt. In order to get a peace agreement passed Carter bribed both countries with an indefinite payment of $1 billion each yearly.

Carter’s biggest downfall may have been the economy. Rising inflation, unemployment and energy prices combined to overwhelm the inexperienced president. The ever weakening economy, combined with the situation in Iran combined to make voters oust Carter from the White House.

29 Herbert Hoover

 

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

Herbert Hoover became president shortly before the October 1929 stock market crash. While many historians paint a picture of Hoover as a do nothing president who was a victim of rampant stock speculation and economic mismanagement during the Coolidge years, the truth is quite the opposite.

You might be asking then, if it wasn’t rampant speculation in the stock market, and economic mismanagement by Coolidge, then what caused the great depression?  It was bad monetary policy by the Federal Reserve and Herbert Hoover’s reaction to the initial economic downturn. The Fed started contracting the money supply in the spring of 1928 and continued until the stock market crash of October 1929. This was the exact opposite of what the Fed should have done at the time, as commodity prices were falling and there wasn’t a hint of inflation. The Fed decided to contract the money supply to reign in what it saw as “out of control market speculation”. further From 1929 until 1933, the fed contracted the money supply by 33%, coincidently (maybe not coincidently) 33% of banks failed.

Many historians have blamed over speculation in the stock market for causing the crash and the depression. Whereas it is true a speculative bubble existed, it wasn’t as big as many have suggested. Less than 1% of Americans owned stock at the time, as opposed to today, where over half the population owns stock in one way or another. How could less that 1% of people losing some or all of their wealth destroy the economy? It couldn’t, but greedy rich people always make a nice scape goat. If you look at the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) at the time, you can see the bubble wasn’t as big as has been shown. On December 31, 1928, the DJIA hit 300.00 for the first time, where it was at in June of 1929. On September 3, 1929 it was 381.17, the initial market crash bottomed out on November 13, 1929 at 198.60, but recovered to 294.07 on April 17, 1930, where it was on June of 1929. To recap, the speculative bubble started in July 1929, peaked in September, bottomed out in November and recovered by April. After the market crash in October of 1929, unemployment went up to 9%, but it dropped to 6.3% by June of 1930. So what happened? Herbert Hoover! If only he had acted as historians has said he did, everything would have been fine. It should be noted that it wasn’t just the crash of October 1929 that did investors in, but the long, continuous decline that occurred from mid-1930 until the summer of 1932.

Herbert Hoover has been painted by historians as a laissez faire do nothing president. The problem is that Hoover did quite a lot to fix the economy, and with every move the country sank further and further in to the depression. Hoover rejected Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon’s suggested “leave-it-alone” approach, and eventually replaced him with the more activist Ogden Mills.

A month following the market crash Hoover summoned business leaders to implore them not to cut wages, believing that high wages were a way out of the depression. Hoover missed one important point, wages are a cost of doing business. During the depression prices were failing, so wages should have naturally fallen as well. Business honored Hoover’s request not to cut wages, and cut employees instead, leading to mass unemployment. Hoover also had several laws enacted that caused or worsened the depression.

Smoot Hawley tariff 1930 – On June 17th 1930, Hoover got the Smoot Hawley tariff passed, which touched off a trade war against the US. This was done at a time when the US was actually exporting more goods than it imported, meaning the US the needed exports to sustain it’s economy. A petition was signed by 1,028 economists in the U.S. asking President Hoover to veto the legislation. Threats of retaliation began long before the bill was enacted into law in June 1930. U.S. imports decreased 66% from $4.4 billion (1929) to $1.5 billion (1933), and exports decreased 61% from $5.4 billion to $2.1 billion

The Federal Home Loan Bank Act of 1932 – created the heavily regulated savings & loan industry. Things worked fine here until inflation crept into the economy in the late 1960s thru the 1980s, causing an inevitable crisis.

Reconstruction Finance Corporation – The agency gave $2 billion in aid to state and local governments and made loans to banks, railroads, mortgage associations and other businesses

Emergency Relief and Construction Act – an amendment to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation Act which was signed on January 22, 1932. It created the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which released funds for public works projects across the country

The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1929 – created the Federal Farm Board to loan farmers money to hold their products off of the market to keep prices high. The Federal Farm Board’s purchase of surplus could not keep up with the production as farmers realized that they could just sell the government their crops, they re-implemented the use of fertilizers and other techniques to increase production.

Bacon-Davis Act – establishes the requirement for paying the local prevailing wages on public works projects for laborers and mechanics. (i.e., the above market-clearing union wage). The result of this move was to close out non-union labor, especially immigrants and non-whites, and drive up costs to taxpayers.

Norris–La Guardia Act – outlawed “yellow dog contracts” in which employees agree not to join a union as a condition of employment. It also prevents the federal courts from issuing injunctions in nonviolent labor disputes.

Revenue Act of 1932 – Major tax increase
  Bottom rate from 1% to 4%
  Top rate from  25% to 63%
  Corporate taxes raised 15%
  Inheritance tax was doubled
  Check Tax – placed a 2 cent tax on every check equates to 34 cents today

lowered personal deductions from  $1,500 for single filers and $3,500 for married couples to $1,000 for single filers and $2,500 for married couples. Also levied Consumption taxes on lubricating oil, malt syrup, brewer’s wort, tires, toilet articles, furs, jewelry, automobiles, trucks, radio and phonograph equipment, refrigerators, sporting goods, cameras, firearms, matches, candy, chewing gum, soft drinks, electricity  & a Gas Tax.

The Check tax helped lead to bank runs as depositors took there money out of banks and decided to pay cash as a way of avoiding the tax.

During Hoover’s term spending went from $3.1 billion in 1929 to $4.8 billion in 1933, a 48% increase. Hoover also canceled private oil leases on government lands, which could have aided in economic recovery.

As can be easily seen, Hoover took what would have been a short sharp recession and turned it into the longest economic calamity in history through higher taxes, higher spending and increased governmental interference in the economy.

30 Franklin Pierce

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

Franklin Pierce started his presidency vowing to not reopen the slavery issue settled by the compromise of 1850, unfortunately he was unable to keep this promise. In 1854 Pierce was persuaded by Senator Stephen Douglas and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis to go along with the Kansas Nebraska Act. Douglas was even prudent enough to get Pierce to submit a written draft stating his support of the law. Douglas favored the law, because he wanted a transcontinental railroad built with it’s eastern terminal in his home state of Illinois.

The Kansas Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing slavery in the Louisiana Territory north of the 36°30′ parallel. The Act ended up re-opening the slavery issue, which had been settled by the Missouri Compromise & The Compromise of 1850, and fractured the political parties along sectional lines. Bleeding Kansas was another outgrowth of the law, which erupted into actual violence and can be seen as a mini civil war of its own. Violence began in 1855, and ended in 1869. In all 56 people died in bleeding Kansas. The Kansas controversy also led to the rise of John Brown, whom only came to the territory to fight slavery. He eventually committed the  Pottawatomie Massacre, and later his raid on Harpers Ferry. By foolishly going along with Douglas and “popular sovereignty”, Pierce derailed his entire presidency, and became one of the few elected presidents unable to be re-nominated by his party.

Pierce was also an avid expansionists, and he cared not whether the new land would be slave or free territory. During his term he was able to acquire the Gadsen Purchase from Mexico for $10 million in 1853. He had also sought Baja California, but Mexico was unwilling to part with it. He made another bigger attempt with his planned purchase of Cuba from Spain in 1855. Under the  Ostend Manifesto Pierce offered to pay either $120 million of wrest control of Cuba outright. Had it not been for the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854, Pierce might have been able to pull off the acquisition, but after the laws passage, Pierce was seen as a tool of the slave interests.

One other positive of the Pierce Administration was his ability to pay the federal debt down from $60 Million to $11 million during his lone term. Had it not been for the massive error of going along with the Kansas Nebraska Act, Pierce would have been a halfway decent president.

 

31 Grover Cleveland

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve non consecutive terms, a distinction that’s not likely to be repeated.

As president, Grover Cleveland had little use for people of color. He outright refused to enforce the 15th Amendment protecting rights of blacks. He repealed other laws protecting blacks in the south, and in fact was elected in large part due to Jim Crow laws. He lobbied congress to pass the Scott Act, which wouldn’t allow Chinese emigrants to re-enter the country if they had left. Cleveland even went after Native Americans with the Dawes Act. This act allowed the government to take away about 67% of the remaining Indian lands, including the state of Oklahoma. He even also opposed women’s suffrage, though it wasn’t known until he left the White House. Grover Cleveland clearly saw basic human rights as being for white man only, and clearly governed with that in mind.

Another group that Cleveland had no sympathy for was disabled war veterans. Maybe this was because he bought his was out of fighting in the civil war, so he felt little obligation to former veterans. He vetoed the Dependent Pension Bill, which would have given any man who served 90 days during any war and who could not earn a living a monthly pension of $6 to $12. Cleveland called this bill a “premium of fraud”, most people would call it a minimum of compassion. Cleveland further vetoed more than 275 individual pension bills during his first term in office. Cleveland is largely held in high esteem by historians for such vetoes, but denying pensions to disabled veterans is not the “Great Act” a president should be known and celebrated for. There was also a practical reason for the veteran’s pension bill Cleveland vetoed and Harrison passed, these individual pension bills were clogging up congress. Another famous veto Cleveland gets praised for is the Texas Seed Bill. This bill was passed as a relief measure to help victims of a natural disaster, an extended drought, by giving them seeds to replant with. In his veto message Cleveland stated “though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.”

Grover Cleveland didn’t just hold disdain for non whites, war veterans and drought victims, he also had a special place in his heart for union workers as well. The Pullman company forced employees to live in “Pullman towns” in a form of quasi slavery. When the company forced workers to take a 25% pay cut, without reducing rents, the Pullman workers went on strike. The American Railroad Union refused to move any trains with Pullman cars on them. The only way the President could legally intervene in the strike was if the Governor of Illinois asked for his help. The governor of Illinois, John P. Altgeld, did not want to request troops because he believed that workers should have the same rights as their bosses. Never one to be restricted by the Constitution, Grover Cleveland illegally sent federal troops in anyway, to intervene on behalf of the exploitive Pullman company. The Pullman Strike was important because it was the first time a federal injunction had ever been used to break up a strike.

The Panic of 1893 was first caused by the overbuilding of railroads. These railroads were overbuilt, because the government subsidized the building of new lines, without regard to quality or selection of optimal routes. By giving federal aid based on amount of track laid, the government was rewarding overinvestment in railroads. This investment would eventually need to be liquidated, causing railroad failures, then bank failures leading to a recession. Such a recession confronted Grover Cleveland soon after starting his second term. Even though Cleveland can’t be blamed for the onset of the recession, he can be blamed for his reaction to it. Cleveland fought the recession through two actions, repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act and enacting the Wilson-Gorman Tariff. Cleveland made a weak economy into the worst recession until that time in American history by increasing internal taxes, which means less money for investment, and reducing tariffs which increases competition for US companies through the Wilson-Gorman Tariff. He also restricted the money supply through the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Whereas the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was a good thing, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The three worse recessions up until that time, the panics of 1837, 1856 & 1893, all had two things in common: reduced tariffs and a credit crunch through a reduced money supply.

Grover Cleveland showed his short sightedness in world affairs by withdrawing two important treaties. The first was the Zavala Treaty from senatorial consideration. This treaty gave the United States the right to construct a canal in Nicaragua that was to be owned jointly by the two nations. Not seeing that the United States could eventually need the ability to more quickly move it’s fleets to protect both of it’s coasts shows a major lack of vision. The second treaty Cleveland withdrew was a treaty to annex Hawaii, which eventually happened anyway.

Cleveland also intervened on behalf of Columbia, by sending a small detachment of marines to help that country squash a Panamanian rebellion. Grover Cleveland also risked war with two major European powers in matters of little importance to the United States. The first was in Samoa, a small group of islands in the south pacific. Cleveland risked war with Germany over the small islands when they sought to take them as an imperial colony, as other European powers had been taking other colonies in the area. Cleveland sent a fleet to the islands, but it was damaged along with a German fleet during a cyclone. This eased tensions until President McKinley could solve the issue peacefully with the Tripartite Convention, which divided the islands between the United States, Germany & Great Britain. The other instance that Cleveland risked war was in a Venezuelan-British Guiana boundary dispute. Claiming that the disputed boundary came under the Monroe doctrine was dubious at best. Britain wasn’t trying to establish a new colony, or take over Venezuela, they were trying to negotiate the boundary of an existing colony. The area claimed by both nations contained rich gold mines. The Venezuelans smartly gave Americans concessions in the mines, and then asked President Cleveland to arbitrate the matter. Britain, clearly seeing the conflict of interest, and the Venezuelan bribe, balked at U.S. involvement, leading Cleveland to write a “twenty-inch gun” missive in which he threatened Britain with war, and he sent the U.S. Navy to confront British warships near Venezuela. Rather than go to war Britain agreed to accept arbitration. Cleveland deserves serious demerits for nearly involving the United States in three potential wars that held little to no importance to the United States.

32 James Buchanan

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

James Buchanan started his presidency under the shadow of the impending Dred Scott decision. The Dred Scott case involved a slave who had been brought to the free Wisconsin territory. Scott argued that he became free upon entering free states and territories. Buchanan stated that the territorial question was “happily, a matter of but little practical importance” since the Supreme Court was about to settle it “speedily and finally”, and proclaimed that when the decision came he would “cheerfully submit, whatever this may be”. Why was Buchanan so willing to accept the courts decision in the Dred Scott case? Because Buchanan had interfered in the decision as president elect. He had wrote Justice  John Carton in January inquiring about the case, and suggesting that a broader decision should be returned. Carton had responded to Buchanan that the decision would be against Dred Scott, but it would be a narrow decision without northern support. Buchanan then went on to convince fellow Pennsylvanian Justice Robert Cooper Grier to allow the court to leverage the case into a much broader decision that would repeal the Missouri Compromise. Clearly Buchanan thought that by agreeing with the cases decision before it was handed down, would help to garner public support. This was very disingenuous, since Buchanan himself actually changed the scope of the case.

On the issue of slavery, and it’s extension, Buchanan believed in “popular sovereignty”, which would allow residents of a territory to decide for themselves whether a territory would become a free state or slave state by popular vote. While popular sovereignty may have sounded like the fairest way to decide the issue, it was basically a ruse by pro slavery forces as a way of spreading slavery. Having already filled up all the territory where slavery was allowed under the Missouri Compromise with existing states, popular sovereignty, or the introduction of new territory was the only way slavery could be expanded. New territory had been already added to the nation with the annexation of Texas, which expanded slavery, and the lands gained through the Mexican-American war, which ended up being unsuitable. There were a few attempts at adding Cuba, but those had been blocked. Seeing that territorial expansion had run it’s course, pro slavery forces had now turned to popular sovereignty as their only hope. In affect popular sovereignty would only apply to areas where slavery had been barred, making proslavery forces the only potential winners.

Buchanan showed his pro-slavery colors during the Kansas crisis. Ever since the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the territory of Kansas had become a battleground between pro-slavery forces and abolitionist. Pro slavery forces felt that the Kansas-Nebraska act was passed with the idea that Kansas would enter the union as a slave state and Nebraska would enter as a free state. They saw this as a 50-50 compromise, and the abolitionist push into Kansas as an attack on their rights. The abolitionist seen slavery as a moral injustice that shouldn’t be allowed to spread, they in fact wanted it to be outlawed. Buchanan felt that sectional tensions would be eased if Kansas entered the union as a slave state brining back the 50-50 balance that had been upset when California became a state. The problem is that such a balance would not last long, eventually the larger numbers of people in Free states would have eventually settled more states. If Kansas had entered the union as a slave state, the free soil residents could have simply moved north to Nebraska and re-upset the balance. Once the pro-slavery Lecompton constitution was submitted to congress, Buchanan whole heartedly pursued his  50-50 policy. He made every effort to secure Congressional approval, offering favors, patronage appointments and even cash for votes. The fact that the Lecompton constitution had been approved through widespread voter fraud and against Buchanan’s beloved principle of popular sovereignty didn’t seem to bother him at all.

With the impending election of Abraham Lincoln as President, secession of southern states became a real possibility. As current president, James Buchanan sat idly by and did nothing. Once Lincoln was elected, and states stared to secede, Buchanan sent a message to congress stating, that secession was illegal, but that the government couldn’t do anything to stop them. Had Buchanan actually acted, as Milliard Fillmore did in 1850, by strengthening southern forts and moving military forces where they could be used to stop secession, war might have been averted. Instead Buchanan allowed the rebels time to strengthen their government and defenses, helping to lead to the bloodiest war in American history.

Oddly enough, in the face of another rebellion of sorts, Buchanan had no trouble with flexing military muscles, even though he had incomplete information. In March of 1857 Buchanan received conflicting information from federal judges, that Mormons had been disrupting their offices. Buchanan accepted the wildest rumors and sent the Army in, and disposed Brigham Young as governor replacing him with a non Mormon. Buchanan obviously had no trouble squashing a rebellion in Utah on scant, conflicting reports and little to no evidence. This is in direct opposition to his non reaction to southern secession, shows that his understanding of the office seems to have been molded by personal prejudices more than the law.

Buchanan also presided over the panic of 1857, which was brought on, in part by the Tariff of 1857. The revised tariff law lowered rates on manufactured goods, lowering demand for American built goods leading to a depression in the manufacturing sector. Buchanan further exuberated the problem by reducing the money supply, creating a credit crunch. Buchanan’s poor handling of the economy caused this recession to last until the outbreak of the civil war, and led to massive debt increases during his term.

33 Martin Van Buren

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

Martin Van Buren was the 8th president of the United States. He was Andrew Jackson’s hand-picked successor. Van Buren continued Andrew Jackson’s programs, most of which were bad.

Van Buren’s term was consumed by the Panic of 1837, which was the Great depression of its day. While the panic was created by Andrew Jackson’s bank war and specie circular, Van Buren does desrve some of the blame for his mishandling of the economy. First of all, Van Buren was unwilling to rescind the specie circular, he then followed that decision up with his creation of the Independent Treasury. The specie circular and independent treasury both create a credit crunch, which prolonged and deepened the recession. In the end, the panic of 1837 ended Van Buren’s  presidency in the election of 1840.

Van Buren’s  Indian policy was basically an extension of Andrew Jackson’s. Van Buren oversaw the completion of Jackson’s Indian removal policy, which would be termed ethnic cleansing by todays standards. Van Buren also continued the Second Seminole War, which was the longest and costliest indian war ever. Unfortunately Van Buren didn’t have the foresight of John Tyler, who simply ended the war.

The Amistad case was a major occurence during Van Buren’s term. The Amistad was a Spanish vessel that was transporting slaves that were captured in Africa. During the voyage, the African captors took over the ship and directed the remaining crew to take them back to Africa. The crew tricked the Africans, and sailed north at night, where they were captured by an American ship. Van Buren wanted the Africans to be returned to the Spanish to become slaves, even though the Spanish had broken international treaties against the slave trade. Van Buren even ordered his Secretary of state, John Forsythe, to direct the US Attorney to keep the matter out of the courts and under executive control. In the end the US Supreme court ruled that the Africans should be freed and returned to Africa.

1938 Mormon war and “extermination” order forced the Mormons from Missouri. Van Buren refused to help the Mormons for political reasons, as he didn’t want to lose Missouri vote in the upcoming 1840 election. Because of this, President Van Buren holds a place of particular disrepute in the Mormon consciousness. In the fall of 1839 Joseph Smith and a small party traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with as many influential politicians as they could to seek redress for the Mormons being driven from the state of Missouri. The President meet with Smith twice, and on his second visit gave this famous replay to the Saint’s request: “Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you. If I take up for you I shall lose the vote of Missouri.”

Under Van Buren a boundary dispute disrupted between Maine and New Brunswick that came to be termed the Aroostook War. While both sides sent militia to the area, hostilities never ensued. Van Buren should be given some credit for avoiding war, but he basically kicked the can down the road by not actually settling the disputed border.

Another incident where Van Buren kicked the can down the road was the Texas issue. After winning independence from Mexico, Texas wanted to be annexed into the United States. Considering the make up of Texas’s citizenry, and it’s desire to be a part of the United States, annexation was a forgone conclusion. Van Buren further forgave Mexican debts for seemingly no reason other than to appease Mexico. Had Van Buren been able to see the writing that was clearly on the wall and annexed Texas, he could have used the debts as a bargaining chip to a peaceful resolution of the Texas-Mexico border. Unfortunately, Van Buren decided not to act, and event eventually led to the Mexican-American War, which was a major catalyst for the civil war.

34 John Adams

This is a post in My Presidential Rankings series, linked here: http://sdu754.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/presidential-rankings/

John Adams was the second President of the United States. The major defining issue of Adams term was whether the United States went to war with France

In 1797 Adams sent a diplomatic commission to France. The commission was approached through back channels demanding
bribes and loans before negotiations could commence. Though such demands weren’t uncommon in Europe at the time Adams took offense. Adams released the dispactches with the names of French officials changed to X, Y & Z, leading to the name of “the XYZ affair”. The release of the documents led to congress annulling the 1778 Treaty of Alliance with France. The Release of the XYZ affair documents also led to the naval “Quasi-War” with France.

Another outgrowth of the XYZ affair was the enactment of the Alien and Sedition Acts. These laws increased the residency requirement from 5 to 14 years, authorized the President to imprison or deport any aliens considered “dangerous” to the United States and restricted speech “critical” of the government. The critical speech law didn’t cover speech against the vice president, Thomas Jefferson as he was a political rival of Adams. The acts served to eventually destroy the Federalist part, and were among the worst violations of the constitution.

Adams spent about half his presidency in Quincy Mass, and would leave major policy decisions to his cabinet. Adams also kept on cabinet members even those that undermined his policies and criticized him. His absence and inability to remove cabinet members were definitely signs of an incapability to operate as an executive.

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