Election of 1836 • Andrew Jackson decided to retire • Remember Washington’s 2-term Precedent • Martin van Buren was hand picked by Jackson to be the Democratic Candidate • van Buren was Jackson’s Vice President for his 2nd Term • From New York
Whig Strategy • Whigs ran several “favorite son” candidates • They wanted to split up the electoral vote and send the election to the House of Representatives • William H. Harrison (West) • Hugh White (South) • Daniel Webster (New England) • Willie Magnum (South Carolina)
Explain how splitting up the electoral vote amongst several candidates would send the election to the House of Representatives.
Van Buren Elected • The Whig strategy failed. • Martin Van Buren, a democrat, elected president • First “native born” president (not born a British subject) • First President not of English Ancestry • Dutch • Spoke Dutch as first language until attending school
Panic of 1837 • Shortly after Van Buren became president, the economy crashed. • The downturn was called the “Panic of 1837” • Serious economic depression • Unemployment was high • Banks failed • Businesses closed • Eviction rates were high
Causes of Panic of 1837 • Pet Banks • Made many loans and printed their own money • People used loans and inflated paper money to purchase land from the government. • Government was flooded with inflated paper money in exchange for land. • President Jackson required that land be paid in gold and silver (specie) • Specie Circular • People took paper money back to banks in exchange for specie • Banks failed when they had no specie.
Blame for the Panic of 1837 • President Van Buren was blamed for the Depression • Think 2008 Recession—many blamed President Obama… • It goes both ways, Clinton was celebrated for prosperous presidency…a lot has to do with market. • Actually, the Specie Circular was the cause and that was an act of President Jackson • But van Buren did nothing to help solve the economic crisis. • Government, at that time, did nothing to interfere with or control the economy.
Other Events of the Van Buren Administration • Trail of Tears • Tens of thousands of Native Americans were already being removed from their homelands when Martin van Buren took office. • Van Buren, who served as Secretary of State and VP under Jackson, pledged to continue enforcing policies put into place by his predecessor. • This included the Indian Removal Act of 1830 • In his autobiography, Van Buren praised Jackson’s vision of Indian removal
Election of 1840 • Whigs nominated a single candidate this time: William Henry Harrison. • Democrats ran Martin van Buren as candidate again.
Log Cabin Campaign • Whig Strategy: • John Tyler was the VP Candidate • Tippecanoe and Tyler too… • Log Cabin Campaign • Whigs wanted to show Harrison as a Common Man • He was actually quite wealthy.
President Harrison • Harrison was elected easily • Inauguration Day • Gave the longest Inauguration speech in Presidential History • Two Hours—8444 words • Speech delivered in a cold rain • Harrison wore no coat nor hat • Also rode in the parade on horseback • Became ill and died a month later • Shortest presidency in history.
John Tyler • Virginian • Slave Owner • His wife was the first “First Lady” to die in the White House
President Tyler • Controversy over his status as President • His assumption of the Office of President became a precedent • Did not become Constitutional until the 25th Amendment • Kept Harrison’s entire cabinet • Tyler’s political views were different from other Whigs • Tyler vetoed almost every Whig piece of legislation that came out of Congress. • Opposed many parts of the Whig program for economic recovery • Caused great controversy • There was even an impeachment attempt led by JQ Adams (HOR)
President Tyler • His entire cabinet (except Secretary of State Daniel Webster) resigned on the same day. • Whig party kicked him out of the party—while he was still President. • The Whigs had put Tyler on the ballot to pick up Southern votes…never intended for him to play much of a role. • Dubbed Tyler “His Accidency”
Pre-Emption Act (1841) • Law passed in 1841 to solve the problem of “Squatters” and “Claim Jumpers” • Permitted “squatters” who were living on federal government owned land to purchase up to 160 acres at a very low price (not less than $1.25 per acre) before the land was to be offered for sale to the general public. • To qualify to be a squatter, one had to be: • A “head of household” • A single man over 21 or a widow • A citizen of the US • A resident of the claimed land for a minimum of 14 months • State would be paid 10% of the proceeds from sale
California • First American settlers moved into Mexican California in 1841 • Attracted by land grants from the Mexican government
Texas • Attempted several times after 1836 to be admitted as a state to the United States • Would be a slave state • Upset the balance in the Senate • Admission was opposed by northern anti-slavery factions • 1884 – President Tyler pushed for admission of Texas to the Union