Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States (1837–1841). Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833–1837) and the tenth Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson
(1829–1831). He was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president not of British descent—his family was Dutch. He was the first president to be born an American citizen, his
predecessors having been born British subjects before the American Revolution. He is also the only president not to have spoken English as his first language, having grown up speaking Dutch, and the first president from New York.
As Andrew Jackson‘s Secretary of State and then Vice President, he was a key figure in building the organizational structure for Jacksonian democracy, particularly in New York State. As president, he did not want the United States to annex Texas, an act on which John Tyler, would achieve eight years after Van Buren’s initial rejection. Between the bloodless Aroostook War and the Caroline Affair, relations with Britain and its colonies in Canada also proved to be strained.
His administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837. He was scapegoated for the depression and called “Martin Van Ruin” by his political opponents. Van Buren was voted out of office after four years, losing to Whig candidate William Henry Harrison.
In 1848, he ran for president on a third-party ticket, the Free Soil Party.
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