Martin Van Buren – 8

Martin Van Buren was the 8th President of the United States of America. He was famously known as a very shrewed political operator.

His reign as President was marked by financial instability in America after the stock market crashed. He remained President from 1837 to 1841.

When and where was he born?

Martin Van Buren was born in Kinderhook, New York on December 5, 1782.

Early Life

Martin Van Buren received little formal education during his childhood. He mostly spent his time with his family at Kinderhook, New York.

When he reached the age of 14, he received some formal education which equipped him to work in law offices. Here, he started working for different lawyers and attorneys.

This exposure helped him to learn a lot about law. He eventually studied law and became a lawyer after passing the bar exam in 1803.

Life in Politics

Martin Van Buren started taking an active part in politics from a young age. Gradually, he became very influential in New York where he was known as a great manipulator.

He rose in both the legal profession and politics side by side. In 1815, he was appointed as the New York Attorney General, which was a very important post. He also became a member of the U.S. Senate as a representative from New York.

During the Presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren supported him. So when Andrew Jackson was elected as the President, he appointed Martin Van Buren as the Secretary of State.

In 1831, Van Buren had to resign from the Secretary of State after being accused in some scandals. He was then briefly appointed as the Governor of New York.

Andrew Jackson later appointed him as Vice President. Later when Andrew Jackson’s second term as President ended, Martin Van Buren decided to run for the Presidency. Andrew Jackson supported him and Buren was successfully elected the 8th President of USA.

Life as the President

Martin Van Buren remained the President from 1837 to 1841. It was during his Presidency that the famous Trail of Tears took place.

This was a journey made by the Cherokee Indians who were forced from their native homelands to government reservations. The journey was thousands of miles long and thousands of Indians died along the way.

Another important event during Van Buren’s Presidency was the financial panic. Less than a year after he became President, the stock market crashed. This led to the bankruptcy of many banks and businesses, resulting in a high unemployment rate.

Some of his opponents started calling him ‘Martin Van Ruin’ due to this. The financial meltdown continued until the end of his Presidency and so, Martin Van Buren wasn’t considered a popular President.

Later Life and Death

After completing his term, Martin Van Buren ran for Presidency for two more times, in 1844 and in 1848. However he failed both times. He lived to the ripe age of 79 and died on July 24, 1862 at his home in Kinderhook, New York.

Learn More about American President Martin Van Buren at Wikipedia