President John Tyler
President John Tyler
Our tenth president was born in Charles City County, Virginia on March 29, 1790. He was taught to have a strong belief in the meaning of the constitution. John Tyler soon developed an interest in law and politics, and studied law at the College of William and Mary. Tyler served on the House of Representatives from 1816 to 1821. While there he voted against most nationalist legislation, and also opposed the Missouri Compromise. Shortly after leaving the House, he served as the Governor of Virginia.
He later became a Senator, and joined the Southerners in Congress, an organization that helped Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and the newly formed Whig party, to oppose President Jackson. The Whigs then nominated John Tyler for Vice President in 1840, hoping to get support from the southerners. Nominated for president was William Henry Harrison, famous for winning the Battle of Tippecanoe.
Harrison and Tyler won the election, but shortly after becoming president, Harrison died of pneumonia. Tyler then became president, and was ready to compromise on the banking situation in the country. Unfortunately, the Senate did not share this desire, and the two fought every bill or idea brought up about the subject.
Due to this, Tyler was expelled from the Whigs party, and every cabinet member except for Secretary of State Webster resigned. A year later, the first impeachment resolution against a president was introduced in the House of Representatives. The resolution, however, failed and Tyler remained in office.
John Tyler was able to create positive legislation, such as the “Log-Cabin” bill, allowing settlers to purchase large amounts of cheap land before it was available to the public. In 1842, Tyler signed a tariff bill to protect northern manufactures. Later the Webster-Ashburton treaty settled a boundary dispute with Canada; and in 1845 Texas was annexed. He left the presidency in the same year.
However, tension was building between the Southern and Northern states, and the civil war was not far off. In 1861, the first Southern states seceded, and Tyler led a compromise movement. After the failure of the movement, Tyler became a representative for the Confederate House. He died in 1862 of a stroke and was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia.
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