Create a new account

It's simple, and free.

Eighth U.S. President Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, was born on December 5th, 1782, in Kinderhook, New York. His parents were Abraham Van Buren, a farmer and tavern keeper, and Maria Hoes Van Alen, both of Dutch descent. Van Buren attended the village school and then the Kinderhook Academy before he began to read law with Francis Silvester, a local attorney, in 1796, when he was only 14. Consequently, he was admitted to the state bar when he was only 21 (Encyclopedia Americana) and opened his own practice in Kinderhook in 1803. He married his cousin Hannah Hoes in 1807 and they had four children together. Van Buren's successful law practice and involvement in local politics eventually provided a strong base for his launch into national politics.

Van Buren's success as a local politician was demonstrated by his two successive elections to the New York Senate (1812-20), during which time he was appointed state attorney general. He was an extremely skilled politician and he would eventually be credited with being one of the founders of the Democratic Party. In fact, in recognition of his cunning and skill as a politician, his friends called him "Little Magician" but his enemies referred to him as "Sly Fox" ( Van Buren also developed a reputation for "non-committalism," and there exist many stories of his propensity for evasion and double-talk (Encyclopedia Americana). Still, many who have studied his life and political career conclude that Van Buren "combined sheer delight in political manipulation with a strain of idealism that led him in later life to adhere stubbornly to principles in the face of political disaster" (Encyclopedia Americana).

While in New York, Van Buren demonstrated his political prowess through the creation of the Albany Regency, an informal political organization that served as the prototype for the modern political machine. Such an organization allowed Van Buren to shrewdly d...

Page 1 of 6 Next >

More on Eighth U.S. President Martin Van Buren...

APA     MLA     Chicago
Eighth U.S. President Martin Van Buren. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:06, May 31, 2020, from