Monday, February 28, 2011

The American President #8: Martin Van Buren

I can't figure out how to delete my auto-emails for movie reviews for this post... just delete if not interested.

Please feel free to add anything you want about Martin Van Buren!

One term President: March 4th, 1837-March 4th, 1841 (lost re-election to in 1840 to William Henry Harrison)

-Vice-President Richard M. Johnson (1837-1841)

- Election of 1836: Electoral Vote Van Buren: 170; Harrison 73; Popular Vote Van Buren 765,483; Harrison 549, 508

- Born: Dec 5th, 1782, in Columbia, New York

-Died: July 24th, 1862, in Kinderhook, New York

-Nicknames: The Little Magician; Old Kinderhook; Martin Van Ruin

-Religion: Dutch Reformed

-Higher Education: None; studied law with an attorney; Profession: Lawyer; Senator

-Military Service: None

-New York State Senator (1812-1813); US Senator (1821-1828); Governor New York (1829); Secretary of State (1829-1831)

Van Buren is one of the lesser known Presidents, as many one-termers are, and his downfall can be attributed to his stance that states should be allowed more autonomy - a stance that never goes well during a bad economy when people look to the government to solve their problems. The Panic of 1837 saw banks call in their loans and people rioted as they grew hungry - a depression of 6 years was started with double digit unemployment and an eventual loss in the 1840 election for Van Buren.

Van Buren was the first American born President (the previous 7 having been born as British subjects) - strangely enough he is the only President who spoke a first language other than English (he spoke Dutch as a first language)

One of the few victories for Van Buren as President was the passage of his Independent Treasury bill, whick allowed the country's money to be put in its own banks, rather than trusting those owned privately. The economy would not recover quickly enough, however.

The slogan 'For Tippecanoe and Tyler, too" was started in during the defeat of Van Buren in re-election - it referred to a military vicotry for General William Henry Harrison over Indians in the Northwest Territory in 1811 and his running mate was John Tyler)

1838 saw the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee Indians, as the lands of North Carolina and Georgia saw their Indians, forced at gunpoint, to travel west. Of the 15,000 people who started the march, 4,000 died, thus the name the Trail of Tears.


- Jan, 1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th state

- March, 1837 - Congress adds two Supreme Court justices, bringing the total to 9

- July, 1837 - Queen Voctoria is first monarch to make Buckingham Palace the official residence

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