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convention, but they hoped by running different men in different parts of the country to capture enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House. Van Buren received 170 electoral votes, which was more than a majority. Of the Whig candidates William Henry Harrison received 73 votes, White of Tennessee 26, and Webster of Massachusetts 14. South Carolina, unwilling to vote for Jackson's candidate, cast her 11 votes for Mangum of North Carolina. Johnson did not receive a majority of the electoral votes, but he was chosen vice-president by the Senate.
Although a shrewd political adviser, Van Buren possessed few of the gifts of a popular leader. He labored under the handicap of having received his high office at the
Administrahands of Andrew Jackson rather than from tion of Van the people. He announced his intention of Buren treading in the footsteps of General Jackson, but he lacked Jackson's self-reliance and he soon lost the confidence of his party and of the public at large.
Scarcely had Van Buren taken his seat in the presidential chair when the country entered upon a period of financial depression such as had never been seen before and
Financial has been equaled only once since. Van Buren panic of was in no way responsible for this state of affairs. 1837 The crisis had been brought about by overspeculation, and it had been hastened by Jackson's financial policy. The Whigs charged it all to the destruction of the bank and hoped to force the establishment of a new one.
Van Buren proposed instead the absolute divorce of the government from the banks and got introduced into Congress the "Independent Treasury Bill,” which provided that the government should keep its fund locked up in the vaults of the treasury and of subtreasuries to be established in different parts of the country. The bill was twice defeated, but it finally became a law in 1840.
1. Jacksonian Democracy: Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 19–26; Schouler, Vol. III, pp. 426-453; Wm. MacDonald, Jacksonian Democracy, Chaps. I-III; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, Chap. I; Stanwood, History of the Presidency, Chap. XII.
2. The Spoils System: Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 26– 34; Schouler, Vol. III, pp. 453–461; MacDonald, Chap. IV; McMaster, Vol. V, pp. 519–536; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, Chap. XXI.
3. The Public Land Question: Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 41-48; MacDonald, Chap. VI; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 1129; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, pp. 184–191.
4. The Breach between Calhoun and Jackson: Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 52–59; Schouler, Vol. III, pp. 488–501, Vol. IV, pp. 31–37; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, Chap. VII; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, Chap. XXIV.
5. The National Nominating Convention: McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 114-152; MacDonald, Chap. XI; Stanwood, History of the Presidency, Chap. XIV.
6. The Nullification Controversy : Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 59–68; Schouler, Vol. IV, pp. 38-40, 85–111; MacDonald, Chaps. V, IX; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 148–176; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, Chap. X, XIII; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, Chap. XXVI; Carl Schurz, Henry Clay, Vol. II, Chap. XIV.
7. The Bank Controversy : Wilson, Division and Reunion, Chap. III; Schouler, Vol. IV, pp. 132–182; MacDonald, Chaps. VII, XIII; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 1-11, 133–140, 184–211; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, Chap. XI, XIII; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, Chaps. XXVII-XXIX.
8. Foreign Affairs under Jackson: MacDonald, Chap. XII; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 236-241, 299–303; Sumner, Andrew Jackson, pp. 164–174; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, Chap. XXX.
9. The Independence of Texas: Schouler, Vol. IV, pp. 247256; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 250–270, 461–482; Bassett, Life of Andrew Jackson, Vol. II, pp. 673–678, 735–743; R. M. McElroy, Winning of the Far West, Chaps. I, II; H. Bruce, Life of General Houston.
10. Martin Van Buren: Wilson, Division and Reunion, pp. 93– 101; Schouler, Vol. IV, Chap. XV; MacDonald, Chap. XVII; McMaster, Vol. VI, pp. 389–419; E. M. Shepard, Martin Van Buren.
THE PERIOD OF THE MEXICAN WAR
In spite of Van Buren's unpopularity and the misfortunes of his administration no other aspirant appeared to contest
his party lead
The election ership and he of Harrison renomi- and Tyler,
1840 nated without opposition by a convention which met in Baltimore May 5, 1840. As there were several candidates for the vice-presidential nomination the convention decided not to choose between them, expecting that the choice would ultimately devolve upon
the Senate. A platform was adopted embodying the characteristic principles of
Jeffersonian and JackHENRY CLAY.
sonian democracy. The Whigs had already held their convention at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, December 4, 1839. Clay, who had been the most active organizer of the party, was eager for the nomination, but as the party was made up of such diverse elements it was deemed best to nominate William Henry Harrison,
whose political principles were not so clearly defined or so well known. For the vice-presidency they nominated John Tyler of Virginia, a strict-constructionist Democrat, whose opposition to Jackson had carried him into the Whig party.
As the Whigs could not agree upon a platform, they decided to conduct a spectacular campaign and to arouse popu·lar enthusiasm for the old hero of Tippecanoe. Log cabins were drawn through the streets on floats, with barrels of cider outside and live raccoons tied to the door. The campaign was turned into a carnival of merrymaking and the immense throngs that gathered at street parades and mass meetings joined in singing popular songs ending in the refrain of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too.” These methods were successful. Harrison and Tyler received 234 electoral votes and Van Buren only 60. This campaign is also memorable for the appearance of the Abolition party, which nominated James G. Birney of New York as its first candidate for the presidency.
Office-seekers flocked to Harrison's inauguration in even larger numbers than had attended the first inauguration of Desth of Jackson, and notwithstanding the fact that the Harrison, Whig party had bitterly denounced Jackson's April 4, 1841 removals from office, the demands of Harrison's followers were overwhelming. The president, who was sixtyeight years of age, could not stand the strain, and exactly one month after his inauguration he suddenly succumbed to an attack of pneumonia.
For the first time in the history of the country the vicepresident succeeded. Even had Harrison lived it would have been a difficult task to hold together a party formed out of the various elements that had opposed Jackson, but with Tyler the case was hopeless, for he was entirely out of sympathy with the dominant faction headed by Clay, and now that Harrison was dead Clay regarded himself as the responsible leader charged with carrying out the party program.
Tyler retained for the present Harrison's cabinet, with Daniel Webster as secretary of state and friends of Clay in the other departments. When Congress met
Tyler's in extra session on the last of May, in pursuance break with of a call issued by Harrison shortly before his the Whigs death, Clay promptly announced his program, which included the repeal of the subtreasury act, the incorporation of a new bank, and the enactment of a new tariff law.
Tyler did not like Clay's assumption of party leadership and when the bill establishing a bank in the District of Columbia with branches in the States was presented for his signature he vetoed it. The Whig leaders were greatly disconcerted, but they sent one of their number to the president with the draft of a new bill for a "Fiscal Corporation," omitting certain features of the first bill and avoiding the use of the word bank. Tyler suggested certain further changes in the phraseology of the bill, which were promptly agreed to, and in due course it passed Congress and was presented again for his approval. His resolution wavered and, after several days' consideration, finding himself unable to overcome his constitutional objections to a bank in any form, he returned the bill with his veto.
The Whigs were thoroughly enraged and all the members of the cabinet except Webster resigned, denouncing Tyler's bad faith. Clay summoned a party caucus, which formally declared that "all political connection between them and John Tyler was at an end." Tyler agreed to the repeal of the subtreasury act and the following year signed the tariff act of August 30, 1842, which reëstablished the protective principle.
Webster had remained in Tyler's cabinet partly because he did not care to acknowledge Clay's leadership and partly because of important negotiations then Websterpending with Great Britain. The boundary be- Ashburton
Treaty, 1842 tween Maine and New Brunswick as defined in the treaty of 1783 had been the subject of serious dis