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Martin Van Buren

By Brittany Antonacci March 11, 2020 0 comments

Born in December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, New York right before the American Revolution or proposal of any peace treaty—Martin Van Buren was born in a rather trying time in history. Although it was such a crazy time to be alive, Van Buren was fortunate to receive a public-school education in a little schoolhouse up the road and received additional schooling at the Kinderhook Academy where he studied Latin. As Van Buren got older, he decided to dedicate most of his efforts studying law, and in this time, he became affiliated with the Democrat-Republican party and had his apprenticeship under that branch of politics. After opening a firm primarily based in politics and gaining financial independence, he decided to start a formal career in politics. 

Van Buren started his political journey after being elected to represent New York as the United States Senate.  Within his position, he focused primarily on forming a two-party system where people are nominated for government positions based on philosophical beliefs. Van Buren eventually became the Secretary of State where he settled long-standing claims against France and won reparations for property seized during Napoleonic wars. He also reached an agreement with British to open trade with the British West Indies colonies as well as conclude a treaty with the Ottoman Empire to get access to the Black Sea for trading purposes. Within his position as Secretary of State, Van Buren remained close to Andrew Jackson (the president at the time) and was one of his confidants in establishing national banks and regulation of tariffs. In 1836, Van Buren decided to announce his candidacy for president and won by 764,198 popular votes, 50.9 % of total votes, and 170 electoral votes.

Van Buren was inaugurated on March 4, 1837 and essentially sought to carry out much of Jackson’s policies and even kept the individuals in Jackson’s cabinet and some others who were in appointed positions. One major success of Van Buren was his response to the Panic of 1837 (a major financial crisis), in which he followed a delegatory economic policy which successfully got the nation out of financial turmoil. Van Buren was also able to resolve, using diplomatic notions, was able to peacefully resolve the tensions between Maine and Canada on land borders. Overall, Van Buren was able to keep peace and aid in economic growth throughout the entirety of his presidency.

Once Van Buren ended his second term as president, he continued to closely follow national politics—and with this kept a hand in developing various other treaties and political prospects. Unfortunately, Van Buren died on July 24, 1862 from heart disease at the age of 79. If it was not for Martin Van Buren political notions and various peace treaties who knows where America would be today.

 
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