President Martin Van Buren by Jeff S.



Martin Van Buren,or "Martin Van Ruin" as some politicians would call him, was a very controversial president. He was very involved in politics and became the eighth president of the United States. His ideas led to a depression,and everything he did to try to fix the problem just worsened it. Martin did however manage to prevent some future problems from occurring. As he grew older he became more involved with his sons.

Biographical Information

Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York on December 5th,1782. His parents were Abraham and Maria Hoes Van Buren. His father was a farmer who also owned a tavern. Martin became very interested in politics early in life. This was a result of many politicians visiting his father's tavern. When he got older, he married a woman named Hannah. They had four children named Martin Jr., Smith, Abraham, and John.Hannah passed away in 1819 and his sons spent most of their childhood with relatives. He did, however, pay for their education and care. When they got older they spent time with him in Washington and Albany. When he was elected president, his sons Abraham and Martin Jr became his private secretaries. His other sons, John and Smith, stayed in Albany and informed him of political news that was happening in his birth state. When he retired from politics he spent much more time with his sons and their family. Martin Van Buren died of an asthma attack on 1862 in Kinderhook, New York.

Martin Van Buren was educated at public schools and Kinderhook academy. He began studying law in 1796 and finished in 1802. In 1812 he won the election for New York's state senator and served two terms. While serving as the state senator of New York he became its state attorney-general. He held this position from 1815 to 1819. He became part of the United States Senate in February 1821. Van Buren did not agree with the ideas of president John Quincy Adams, so he aligned himself with Andrew Jackson. When Jackson was elected as president he chose Van Buren to be the Secretary of State. While serving as the Secretary of State in Washington he "cultivated" political relationships and formed many allies. Van Buren became one of Jackson's most trustworthy advisers and friends. During Jackson's second term in office Martin Van Buren became the Vice President.

Significant Contributions in Office

Martin Van Buren was elected President in 1836. Four major administration highlights happened during his presidency. "The Panic of 1837 was simply the worst financial catastrophe in American history until the Crash of 1929",as described by Edward L. Widmer.Widmer, L. Edward The Panic of 1837 began when banks in New York and Philadelphia closed. The closing of banks caused inflation, which than led to a depression. During the depression 90 percent of Eastern factories shut down. Many people suffered from lack of food and had to live in shelters. The depression hit hardest in the city and easiest in farm areas.Garcia Jesus, Ogle M Donna, Risinger Frederick C, stevos Joyce. Page 386. When Texas gained it's independence from Mexico it wanted to become a state. Van Buren opposed the request to avoid adding another slave state to the union. Two wars took place during his presidency;The Aroostook War and the Second Seminole War. The Aroostook War was a boundary conflict between Canada and Maine. This war was resolved with a treaty consulted by General Winfield Scott. The Second Seminole War was the forced removal of the Seminole Indians from Florida. After his term Martin Van Buren ran for president again, but was defeated by William Henry Harrison.
Interesting Facts about the President

Martin Van Buren was the only President to not speak English as his first language;His first language was Dutch. He was the only person besides Thomas Jefferson to serve as the Secretary of State, Vice President ,and President. He was also the first President to be born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The two most memorable quotes from Martin Van Buren are,"The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for general prosperity" and "There is a power in public opinion in this country - and I thank God for it: for it is the most honest and best of all powers - which will not tolerate an incompetent or unworthy man to hold in his weak or wicked hands the lives and fortunes of his fellow-citizens."