Martin Van Buren

By: Clare Krupar

Early Political Life

Martin Van Buren was born in 1782 in Kinderhook, New York. During his early years, he was a lawyer and in 1821 was elected into the Senate. He was also the leader of a political organization called, Albany Regency. in 1827 Van Buren was awarded Secretary of State by President Andrew Jackson. Although Van Buren and Jackson worked together frequentntly they butted heads so he resigned before a large disagreement occured. As Jackson created a new Cabinet but, he hoped to regain Van Buren back. Martin Van Buren was later elected as the Vice-President.

Presidency

Martin Van Buren was elected as president in 1836. Months later the Panic of 1837 occured. After Jackson closed the second bank of the United States citizens were left to using state banks. The state banks were easier to use but as people took out more and more money the price of a dollar went down. State banks slowly ran out of money and citizens had to convert their money into gold and silver. Soon even the banks ran out of the gold and silver resulting in a depression. People were put out of jobs and left homeless leaving America in a slump. Martin Van Buren was left with a large mess to clean up which was quite difficult for this was not his mess. Andrew Jackson ended his presidency right after he shut down the American bank. Van Buren did not want to create a new bank but also did not want to leave government funds in State Banks. He came up with the idea of having a seperate treasury system for government funds.
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America's second national bank. The bank still stands today.

After his Presidency

After America got out of its lump a new group was formed, the Whigs. Van Buren was beat by the Whigs in the presidential election of 1840. William Harrison became president but died shortly after, opening up the position for John Tyler. The Whigs felt that Van Buren should have done more the citizens and the country during the depression. Martin Van Buren died in 1862.
This video explains how people felt Van Buren did during his presidency

My Reaction

I wasn't surprised to hear that Jackson would mess something up before he left. Though he caused the depression Van Buren had to clean things up. I believe that the depression helped show citizens how strong Van Buren was and how well he could handle things. Today people believe that Van Buren was the first political politician that was President. This shows that he worked hard to make things right for the country and the people. I believe he was a strong leader.