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Martin Van Buren

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  1. Martin Van Buren President # 8: 1837-1841 Democratic Party (Later ran unsuccessfully for the Free Soil Party)

  2. Political Information Education: Went to Kinderhook academy, a small school house, until he was 14. Then he studied law in the law office of Francis Sylvester for 6 years. He spent 1 more year with William P. Van Ness until he was admitted to the Bar. Occupational History: Became wealthy in private law practice, but was always involved in politics. 1821 elected to N.Y. Senate. Governor of NY [January] 1829. Secretary of state under Jackson [March] 1829. Jackson’s Vice President 1832-36. Van Buren’s Vice President: Richard Mentor Johnson (1837-1841) Secretary of State: John Forsyth Sates Admitted to Union: N/A (But he denied Texas admission to the union)

  3. 1836 Election Reasons Van Buren Won: He was well known as the previous Vice President. The Whigs tried fielding 4 candidates hoping all would beat Van Buren and the House of Reps would decide which becomes president. That strategy failed miserably. Image is public domain

  4. 1848 election Reasons Van Buren Lost: The Third party nomination lacked the recognition needed to collect large amounts of votes. The Free Soil Party was abolitionist, but the Nation was not yet in a position to make that decision. Image is public domain

  5. Martin Van Buren Becomes President 1837 • Van Buren takes the oath of office and officially become the 8th president of the U.S. Results: -His Presidency - That stuff

  6. “Caroline Affair” • Rebellion in Canada • U.S. sends supplies across the water near Niagra Falls to Canada aboard a boat named “Caroline” • British Sneak over and burn the Caroline, then send it over the falls. • General Winfield Scott is sent to calm any American unrest • Results: • British-American Relations become very tense. • Cements Canada’s relationship to the U.S. • Affirms U.S.’s backing of an independent Canada

  7. Financial Panic of 1837 • To combat inflation and end speculation, the Executive branch asked that banks began demanding gold and silver currency as payment for land • The banks did not get the payment they thought they would receive and they refused to discount their loans • Property everywhere was taken by or sold to the banks • Most people were in financial ruin • Results: • Speculation in the market slowed drastically • Many businesses went bankrupt • Andrew Jackson’s Financial Policies were blamed • It became clear that there needed to be a treasury system in the U.S. even though Van Buren continued to fight it Caricature blaming Jackson for Hard Times Image is public domain

  8. Texas Requests Annexation (1837) In August of 1837 Texas requested annexation by the U.S. Van Buren denied the request fearing war with Mexico. The request was withdrawn when a new president Mirabeau B. Lamar was elected. Lamar was an opponent of annexation. • Consequences: • - 1843 John Tyler submits a proposal to congress for the annexation of Texas. It fails • In February of 1845 congress passed a resolution for annexation • Led to the Mexican American War

  9. Mary Lyon Founds Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary (November 8th 1837) • Rigorous course demands • No domestic instruction • Strict Entrance Requirements Results: - Showed that female education could be just as rigorous as male education -Became the 1st of the “Seven Sisters” the female equivalent of an ivy league school. (The Ivy Leagues were once almost exclusively male). -Mt. Holyoke still exists today. Main entrance to Mt. Holyoke College

  10. Oberlin College Admits Women 1838 Oberlin was the first college in the U.S. to become Co-ed. It admitted 4 women into its 1838 freshman class. • Consequences: • Oberlin also became the first college to be racially integrated • Colleges across the U.S. began accepting women

  11. Aroostook War (1838) Area of conflict • Border Between Maine and English Canada not clearly defined • Maine grants land that Britain laid claim to • Gen. Winfield Scott is once again sent to broker a deal with the British • No shots are ever fired • Consequences: • British-American tensions increase • Helps reaffirm the idea that settlements can be reached without armed conflict • Maine’s borders are redefined

  12. Trail Of Tears (1838) • Andrew Jackson mandated that Native Americans give up their land east of the Mississippi and move west towards Oklahoma • 4000 Native American’s die on the way • Chief John Ross asked Gen. Scott to let his people lead the Native Americans west. • He is allowed and he arrives in the new land between 1838 and 1839 • Consequences: • Changed the tribal lands of Native Americans • Caused the eventual death of many thousands of Native Americans after they arrived in the new land

  13. Slaves Develop Underground Railroad (1838) • Slaves such as Harriet Tubman establish a route to help slaves escape the south • The route runs all the way up to the Canadian border • There are many stations along the way that harbor fugitives • Consequenses: • - Thousands of slaves escape to freedom • Many slaves die in the process • 1850 fugitive slave act allows slave owners to reclaim slaves that escaped to the north • 1857 Dread Scott decision strips slaves of all rights Artwork titled: The Underground Railroad

  14. Charles Goodyear Develops Vulcanized Rubber (1839) • Goodyear had worked for years on a better form of rubber • Goodyear Develops Vulcanized Rubber which greatly widens its available uses by making is water proof and weather resistant • Vulcanized rubber is made when you remove the sulphur from the natural rubber then heat it • Consequences: • Patents Vulcanized Rubber in 1844 • Tires, blimps, and many other everyday items are made of vulcanized rubber • Goodyear company is named for the man who made their product possible to produce

  15. Mutiny Aboard the Amistad(1839) • The slave ship Amistad is taken over by its cargo • The slaves fight for their freedom in the supreme court • The slaves are declared free in a decision given by justice story • Consequences: • The slaves are returned to their homeland • One slave attends Oberlin college • Spain is angered for its loss of slaves which it considered Spanish property Amistad Trials

  16. Abner Doubleday Lays First Baseball Diamond (1839) It is claimed that Baseball was created by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY. This is likely a story, however that hasn’t stopped it from spreading all over the country • Consequences: • Baseball hall of fame is opened in Cooperstown, NY • Baseball’s first rulebook is published in 1845 Abner Doubleday

  17. Independent Treasury System established (1839) Established to separate government money from the banking system. It held money in treasury notes and specie (gold and silver currency). It never truly separated from the financial system but it lasted until 1921. • Consequences: • Speculation is limited as the government wanted • It created the foundations for the Federal reserve

  18. Steam Ship Lexington Sinks The steam ship Lexington was built to transport people between New York and Providence Rhode Island. In 1840 it caught fire and sank in 180 feet of water. • Consequences: • In 1842 there was an attempt to salvage the vessel and retrieve the gold and silver on board. The attempt failed and the ship broke apart. • 1852 the Steam boat Henry Clay burns and congress is forced to pass legislation raising safety standards for steam boats.

  19. Liberty Party Formed in New York (1840) • First party formed as an abolitionist group • Convention took place in Albany, NY, where they nominated James G. Birney • The party dissolved in 1848 • It never won more than 44,000 votes • Consequences: • Led to abolition becoming a major political topic • Many people from the Liberty party helped to form the Free Soil party

  20. Quotes “Obviously, I thought that virtually no one had heard of ‘The Red Fox of Kinderhook.’ How many people even recall Martin Van Buren, never mind his nickname?” -Bob Green “Van Buren`s most lasting legacy is that he revived the two-party system in America.” -Robert Ramini “‘The Little Magician.’ ‘Red Fox of Kinderhook.’ Martin Van Buren was called these names and many others because he was able to outthink or outsmart people in politics. Originally Andrew Jackson's secretary of state, he managed to replace Jackson's vice president, John C. Calhoun, as Jackson's political heir simply by outwitting Calhoun.” -Brian Thornton  The log cabin and the cider barrel were powerful images during the depression, images that contrasted sharply with the picture that Whigs painted of Van Buren as a nattily attired, high-living schemer, a "used-up man" hopelessly out of touch with the American electorate. Out-maneuvered and out-campaigned, Van Buren's party lost not only the White House, but control of both houses of Congress, as well.

  21. Lasting Influences • The Independent Treasury was a good try at creating a truly independent mechanism for money transactions with the federal government and it laid the foundations for the federal reserve as it is today. • Van Buren’s participation in the fringe Free Soil party permanently put abolition into the political arena. • Van Buren refused to annex Texas, which put off war with Mexico for at least a short period of time. • The failure to address the financial crisis during his presidency led to the loss of millions of dollars by the country and it’s citizens and permanently scared Van Buren’s image. • Van Buren is one of the unfortunate presidents who is remembered for very little. The General Winfield Scott achieved much more during the same four years by cooling tensions between England and the U.S., and by making the decision to allow chief John Ross to lead his own people on the trail of tears.

  22. 10-10-11 By: Jackson Adams