Q:

What were the accomplishments of Martin Van Buren?

A:

Quick Answer

Martin Van Buren's primary accomplishment was serving as the eighth president of the United States from 1837 to 1841. Van Buren previously served as vice president and secretary of state.

Know More

Full Answer

Before being elected president, Martin Van Buren was President Andrew Jackson's secretary of state. As such, he was in charge of overseeing the United States' foreign affairs and later became United States minister to England. He served as vice president during Jackson's second term in office.

Van Buren won the presidential election of 1836. From 1837 to 1842, however, the United States fell into its worst depression in history. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed, and thousands lost their land.

Van Buren believed that the downturn in the economy was due to reckless business practices and the over-expansion of credit. He also believed in a limited federal government and fought for the establishment of an independent treasury system to handle government transactions, which Congress authorized in 1840. He opposed not only creating a new bank of the United States, but also placing government funds in state banks.

Because Van Buren opposed the expansion of slave territory, he blocked the annexation of Texas. He believed doing so would also prevent the United States from going to war with Mexico. His main foreign policy concern was the dispute between the United States and Great Britain over control of the border between the United States and Canada. Van Buren worked to keep peace in the region with diplomacy rather than force.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What were the accomplishments of Frederick Douglass?

    A:

    Frederick Douglass accomplished a number of things including teaching about anti-slavery while touring Europe, teaching about the rights of women everywhere in the United States and convincing President Abraham Lincoln to recruit African-Americans to be part of the military during the Civil War. His tour to Europe and his message of anti-slavery put pressure on the government of the U.S. to change its policy concerning the standing of African-American citizens.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were Thomas Jefferson's major accomplishments?

    A:

    Thomas Jefferson's major accomplishments include his authorship of the Declaration of Independence and his position as the third president of the United States. Jefferson is also known for his participation in the Continental Congress and his role as the governor of Virginia during the American Revolutionary War.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What were Cornelius Vanderbilt's accomplishments?

    A:

    At the time of his death, Cornelius Vanderbilt was the wealthiest man in the United States. He built a shipping and railroad empire valued at over $100 million, equivalent to hundreds of billions of dollars in modern value.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are James Monroe's accomplishments?

    A:

    As the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe purchased Florida from Spain, extended the country's territory into the Pacific Northwest, helped control sectional tensions and asserted the primacy of the United States in the Western Hemisphere. His term lasted from 1817 to 1825.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore