Andrew Jackson Leaves Office; Martin Van Buren Becomes President
When Martin Van Buren took office, Indian removal was already going full force. Van Buren admired Andrew Jackson's bloody legacy and built on it toward Native Americans, challenges and triumphs regarding tribes, and. As President of the United States of America, Andrew Jackson invited change, The crux of the issue for Jackson was what he saw as the never-ending battle between liberty and power in government. Andrew Jackson to Martin Van Buren His relationship with “the people” throughout his first term convinced him that he. Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson While the Free Soilers made the divisive issue of slavery and its extension into the territories the central issue of the.
But if any government institution became too powerful it stood as a direct threat to individual liberty. Jackson signaled early on in his administration that he would consider re-chartering the Bank, but only if its powers were limited.
Clay decided that he would force Jackson to make the Bank a campaign issue in by re-chartering the Bank early. Clay secured Congressional approval of the re-charter forcing Jackson to promptly veto it on constitutional and policy grounds.
Clay and Jackson then put the issue of who or what was the greater danger to individual liberty, to the people. The people overwhelmingly re-elected Jackson. Vindicated by the people, Jackson prepared to finish his fight with the Bank in his second term, but first had to deal with a threat to the Union.
It must be preserved!
Calhoun advanced the idea that the states had the constitutional right to nullify or invalidate any federal law and that states could secede from the Union. In lateSouth Carolina nullified the Tariff of and threatened secession.
Jackson rejected these ideas and promised the use of force if South Carolina disobeyed the law. After much brinksmanship, Congress passed a compromise tariff that placated South Carolina and a bill that authorized the use of force against nullification. While Jackson pushed his banking plan through Congress he handicapped the Bank by ordering the removal of government deposits. In response, the Bank created an artificial economic panic by calling in loans.
The opposition-controlled Senate censured Jackson for removing the deposits without Congressional authorization. Meanwhile, the old debate over liberty and power raged as Jackson, Congress and the Bank were all accused of abusing their powers. The loss of his wife, Rachel, deeply affected him and he would spend the remainder of his life mourning her. Compounding his sorrows were constant struggles with his health resulting from wounds, harsh military camp life.
Most notable among these family members were Andrew Jackson Donelson and his wife Emily, who served as his private secretary and official hostess. Jackson left his physical mark on the White House by having the north portico completed, redecorating several rooms most notably the East Room and making various improvements to the service buildings and grounds.
He entertained lavishly at the White House for both private affairs and public social events which always surprised his detractors who thought him an uncivilized military tyrant. Jackson Presidency Success with Foreign Affairs While Jackson struggled with sorrow, his health, personal finances and domestic policy issues, he enjoyed almost complete success in foreign affairs.
Jackson made it known at the outset of his administration that he intended to take no aggressive action against any foreign country. However, Texans declared and won their own independence from Mexico in Just days before he left office, Congress recognized Texas and Jackson approved its action. InVan Buren became state attorney general and moved his family to Albany.
He held that office until and continued to serve in the state senate untildelegating his growing legal practice to his junior partner, Benjamin F. Van Buren soon emerged as the guiding force of the "Bucktail" faction, one of several groups jockeying for control of the New York Republican Party. The Bucktails, opponents of De Witt Clinton who took their name from the distinctive plumes they affixed to their hats, rapidly gained in influence under Van Buren's tutelage.
A Bucktail-controlled convention made major revisions in New York's constitution inexpanding the suffrage and curbing aristocratic influence, reforms that helped break De Witt Clinton's hold on the state Republican Party. InVan Buren won election to the United States Senate, leaving behind a formidable political organization, popularly known as the "Albany Regency," that would manage the New York Republican Party—and through it, the state—while he was away.
The Regency maintained rigid discipline, rewarding loyalty with patronage appointments and disciplining errant members. Although centered in Albany, the organization's control also extended to local political organizations and clubs.
Martin Van Buren - HISTORY
Powerful as Van Buren's apparatus became, "It was not," one scholar of the period emphasizes, "so much the rewarding of partisans and the mass lopping off of rebellious heads that explained the Regency success as it was the skillful, highly judicious manner in which the power was exercised. The "Little Magician" Once in Washington, Van Buren set about organizing the New York congressional delegation, a difficult undertaking in light of the fact that John Taylorthe unofficial dean of the delegation and Speaker of the House Representatives, was firmly in the Clinton camp.
In an effort to curb Taylor's influence, Van Buren helped orchestrate the election of Virginia representative Philip Barbour as House Speaker during the 17th Congress, a narrow victory that increased his own influence while cementing his ties to Virginia Republicans. He tried but failed to block the appointment of a Federalist as postmaster of Albany, but his effort to derail the nomination, chronicled at length by the press, enhanced his reputation.
The two had a great deal in common: Crawford was a states' rights advocate, a strict constructionist, and—a consideration of overriding importance to Van Buren—a dedicated party man. But the Republican coalition was rapidly splintering, and many Republicans, calling for reform of the nominating process, refused to heed the will of the caucus. Four other candidates ultimately entered the race, all claiming membership in the party of Jefferson: Consumed by his single-minded effort to secure Crawford's election, even after his candidate became so seriously ill that he could neither see, hear, nor walk, Van Buren was bitterly disappointed when the House of Representatives elected Adams president.
After the election, Van Buren, as the new acknowledged leader of the "Crawford" Republicans, also known as "Radicals," kept his peace while others denounced the "corrupt bargain" with Henry Clay that many suspected had elevated Adams to the White House. He voted to confirm Clay as secretary of state, but he broke his silence after Adams outlined an ambitious domestic and foreign policy agenda in his first annual address.
Van Buren particularly objected to the president's plan to send representatives to a conference of South and Central American delegates in Panama and enlisted the aid of Vice President John C.
Calhoun and his allies in an effort to prevent the confirmation of delegates to the conference. The Senate ultimately confirmed the nominees, but the debate over the Panama mission had helped forge a tentative coalition of "Radicals" and Calhoun supporters under Van Buren's leadership. In Decemberthe Little Magician formalized his alliance with Calhoun, who had already pledged his support for Andrew Jackson in the forthcoming presidential race. Each man had his own agenda: Calhoun intended to succeed Jackson, after serving a second term as vice president; Van Buren, alarmed by Adams' grandiose agenda and convinced that Republicans had strayed from the Jeffersonian creed, intended to restore the party to its "first principles.
The candidate remained in the background while the Little Magician orchestrated a battle plan of unprecedented energy and vigor. His campaigning was, in the words of one scholar, "little short of brilliant. Several states had, prior to the election, revised their election laws to expand the franchise. With parades, rallies, speeches, and calls for "reform," Van Buren and his lieutenants mesmerized these first-time voters, as well as others who had become disenchanted with the administration.
The growing protectionist sentiment in the West and in the Northeast posed particular problems for Van Buren, who could not afford to alienate southern free-trade advocates. Courting both camps, he studiously avoided making a definitive pronouncement on the tariff, even as he deftly guided a protectionist bill through the Senate.
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The tariff, known in the South as the "Tariff of Abominations," reassured westerners, who might otherwise have remained in the "Adams-Clay" fold, that a Jackson administration would take their interests into account. Van Buren realized that protectionism was anathema to southern agriculturalists, but he also realized that most southerners regarded Jackson as the lesser of two evils. As one scholar has conceded, during the tariff debate Van Buren "said some very equivocal things to Southerners," helping them convince themselves that, once elected, Old Hickory would support tariff reform.
Secretary of State Van Buren Jackson won an impressive victory inwidely heralded as a triumph of the "common man. But he served less than two months in this position, resigning to accept an appointment as secretary of state in the new administration.
Van Buren was easily the most capable individual in Jackson's cabinet, an assortment of second-rank appointees chosen to achieve sectional and ideological balance. During his two years as secretary of state from tohe became one of the president's most trusted advisers.
He arrived in the capital shortly after Jackson's inauguration to find the cabinet—and Washington society—at odds over Mrs. Calhoun's adamant refusal to socialize with the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton, a woman with a spirited disposition and a notorious reputation. Several cabinet wives had followed suit, avoiding official functions for fear of encountering the tainted couple.
The "Petticoat War" was, as Van Buren realized, much more than a dispute over protocol or public morals; it was a symptom of the deep divisions in an administration that included both free-trade advocates and protectionists.
The tension became even more pronounced after Jackson delivered his first annual message. His speech, prepared with Van Buren's assistance, convinced Vice President Calhoun and his allies that they would obtain no relief from the Tariff of Abominations. As for Van Buren, he suspected—correctly, as it turned out—that Calhoun was somehow behind the talk of "nullification" emanating from South Carolina. Van Buren at first tried to cure what he called "the Eaton malaria," the malaise that threatened to paralyze the administration, by entertaining the Eatons.
As a widower with no wife to object if he showed courtesy to a woman of questionable repute, he had nothing to lose by entertaining Mrs. Eaton and everything to gain, given the high regard that Jackson felt for Peggy and her husband. He was no match for the formidable Floride Calhoun, however, and he soon became persona non grata among the Calhoun set, but his gallantry endeared him to the president.
Accompanying Jackson on horseback for their customary rides throughout the countryside surrounding Washington, Van Buren became the president's sounding board and friend, offering well-timed and perceptive counsel to the care-burdened and lonely old hero. He helped craft the president's memorable toast: It must be preserved" that electrified the April 13,banquet commemorating Jefferson's birthday, and he helped persuade Jackson to run for a second term.
Calhoun simmered with resentment as the man he considered a "weasel" gained the upper hand in a rivalry that was becoming increasingly bitter. Van Buren, although every bit as ambitious as Calhoun, became increasingly discomfited at the widespread speculation that he, and not Calhoun, would succeed Jackson as president.
Recoiling at the thought that his opponents might interpret his labors on Jackson's behalf as a crude form of electioneering, he informed the president in late March of that "there is but one thing" that would bring peace to Jackson's troubled administration: Van Buren's departure precipitated the mass resignation of the entire cabinet, except for Postmaster General William Barry. The new cabinet was distinctly more sympathetic to Jackson—and to Van Buren. As a reward for his "highly patriotic" sacrifice, the Little Magician received an appointment as minister to England.
Van Buren sailed for England before the Senate confirmed his nomination. His easy, elegant manners made him an instant hit in London. Almost immediately, he received the British foreign minister's pledge to respect the rulings of the panel arbitrating the longstanding boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick. Jackson had predicted that Van Buren's enemies would not dare oppose this appointment, for fear that "the people in mass would take you up and elect you vice Pres. Jackson was furious when he heard the news but, after sober reflection, realized that he now had ample justification for removing Calhoun from the ticket in the coming election.
He had already settled on Van Buren as his next vice president, but Calhoun's effrontery strengthened his resolve. Once Van Buren's most formidable rival for the soul of the organization soon to be known as the Democratic Party, he had become a sectional leader and would remain a sectional leader for the rest of his life.
The Election of Van Buren found every reason imaginable to remain abroad after learning of his rejection by the Senate. He could not break his lease or abruptly discharge his servants, he protested, nor could he pack up his household on such short notice.
But his biographer suggests that he delayed his departure because he believed that the "opposition would splinter. Although anti-tariff southern Democrats had serious reservations about Van Buren, Jackson's sentiments prevailed. By an overwhelming margin, the convention chose Van Buren on the first ballot.
Finally returning home in Julythe Little Magician was immediately summoned to Washington. Jackson needed his help in drafting a message to Congress explaining his impending veto of a bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States. Van Buren approved of the veto message, a ringing denunciation of the bank as an instrument of privilege.
Andrew Jackson Leaves Office; Martin Van Buren Becomes President
At Jackson's request, he attended the Senate and the House of Representatives on July 10, in order to lobby against the inevitable attempt to override the veto. Also at Jackson's request, he lobbied for a compromise tariff designed to keep would-be nullifiers in the Jacksonian camp. Successful in both efforts, he departed for New York after Congress adjourned.
He remained in New York until shortly before the inauguration, attempting to reconcile die-hard New York protectionists to the compromise tariff.
Martin Van Buren - Wikipedia
The election was, as one scholar of the period has observed, a referendum on the Second Bank of the United States, the first presidential election in which the candidates submitted a single, specific question to the electorate. Jackson was a "hard-money" man, deeply suspicious of banks, credit, and paper money after suffering near ruin in an early land speculation venture.
Regarding the Second Bank of the United States, a government-chartered but privately owned institution, as an instrument of aristocratic, monied interests, he would have announced his intention to destroy the bank in his first annual message had his advisers not counseled restraint. After the election, Van Buren became suspicious that Clinton was working with the Federalist Party, and he broke from his former political ally.
Van Buren moved from Hudson to the state capital of Albanywhere he established a legal partnership with Benjamin Butler and shared a house with political ally Roger Skinner. His support for the bill helped it win approval from the New York legislature.
Through his use of patronage, loyal newspapers, and connections with local party officials and leaders, Van Buren established what became known as the " Albany Regency ," a political machine that emerged as an important factor in New York politics. Crawfordamong others. Despite his commitments as a father and state party leader, Van Buren remained closely engaged in his legislative duties, and during his time in the Senate he served as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Though Crawford suffered a severe stroke that left him in poor health, Van Buren continued to support his chosen candidate.