Martin Van Buren (March 4, 1837 - March 4, 1841)


Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 - July 24, 1862), nicknamed Old Kinderhook, was the eighth President of the United States. Before his presidency, he served as the eighth Vice President (1833-1837) and the 10th Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson. He was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president who was not of English, Irish, Welsh, or Scottish descent. Van Buren was the first President who did not experience the American Revolution firsthand. He is also the only president not to have spoken English as a first language, having grown up speaking Dutch.

Martin Van BurenVan Buren was the first of a series of eight presidents between Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln who served one term or less. He also was one of the central figures in developing modern political organizations. As Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State and then Vice President, he was a key figure in building the organizational structure for Jacksonian democracy, particularly in New York State. However, as a President, his administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837. Between the bloodless Aroostook War and the Caroline Affair, relations with Britain and its colonies in Canada also proved to be strained. Whether or not these are directly his fault, Van Buren was voted out of office after four years, with a close popular vote but a rout in the electoral vote. In 1848 he ran for president on a third party ticket, the Free Soil Party.¹

Quotes

"The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity"

"It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't."

"As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it."

"No evil can result from its (slavery's) inhibition more pernicious than its toleration."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Martin Van Buren - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Books on Martin Van Buren
Biography of Martin Van Buren
Essays on Martin Van Buren and His Administration
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site

 


 
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