Martin Van Buren

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Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States, serving from 1837 to 1841. Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833–1837) and the 10th 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,[2] 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,[3] and the first president from New York.

Van Buren was the third president to serve only one term, after John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams. He also was one of the central figures in developing modern political organizations. 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. However, as a president, his administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837. Between the bloodless Aroostook War and the Caroline Affair, relations with Britain and its colonies in Canada also proved to be strained. Whether or not these were directly his fault, Van Buren was voted out of office after four years, with a close popular vote but a rout in the electoral vote. In 1848, he ran for president on a third-party ticket, the Free Soil Party.

Martin Van Buren is one of only two people, the other being Thomas Jefferson, to serve as Secretary of State, Vice President and President.[4][5][6]


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