John Tyler

By: Noah Axelrod

General Information

John Tyler was born in Virginia on March 29, 1790, and died on January 18, 1862. He was born to an aristocratic family of English descent. Tyler was an unhealthy child, he was very thin and was prone to chronic diarrhea. After he graduated college he went on to study law with his father.

Life Before Presidency

At the age of 28 he was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates. He serve five successive terms seated on the Courts and Justice committee. Tyler served three terms in the House of Representatives which would be his first experience in national politics. He was sworn in as a part of the democratic-repuplican party. He was a main leader in opposing the Missouri Compromise. His years in the House were important because it gave him a chance to show off his campaigning skills as well as show how deep his political connections were.

Presidential Career

John Tyler became President when William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia. This prompted people to call him "His Accidency". While Congress was debating whether John Tyler becomes president because of William Henry Harrison's death; Tyler has himself sworn in without any qualifiers. He twice vetoed Henry Clay's national banking act following the Panic of 1837. Tyler continually fought against his own party on bills, rarely signing them into law. The last straw was when he vetoed two bills that would raise tariffs on goods. Shortly after the tariff veto, the Whigs started the first process of impeachment. Because Tyler vetoed so many bills, the Whigs thought that went against what they defined as the presidency, so they tried to have him impeached. They failed miserably but this was the first time anybody tried to impeach the President. His major platform as President was to annex Texas, but could not succeed in that goal because of the Princeton Disaster.

Life After Presidency

Tyler retired to a Virginia plantation following his presidency. He renamed it Sherwood Forest as a reference that he had been outlawed by the Whig Party. He distanced himself from politics completely and nobody visited him at his plantation. During the Civil War, Tyler sided with the Confederacy having been a slave owner his entire life. Tyler's death was the only presidential death to not be recognized by Washington since he sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Major Achievements and Blunders


  • Admitted Florida into the Union
  • Set the precedent for presidential succession
  • Passed the Tariff of 1842

  • He consistently voted against his own party
  • Was the first president to nearly be impeached
  • Could not connect with people outside of the south


John Tyler was only popular in the southern states because of him supporting slavery. He was out of touch with people in the north and that hurt his population seriously. He also was not popular with his own party because of how he would constantly vote against them.

Members of Cabinet

Secretary of State- Daniel Webster

Secretary of Treasury- Walter Forward

Secretary of War- John C. Spencer

Secretary of the Navy- Abel P. Upshur

Attorney General- John Nelson

Is he electable today?

No. He would not be electable today because he would not be able to lead our country in a smooth manner. His stubbornness means that nothing would ever get done in office. He would vote against his own party and nothing would ever get done. His popularity would fall because he would vote to raise taxes which the american people would not want. He would most likely not be reelected after the first term, if he gets elected in the first place.