Martin Van Buren The panic of 1837

Background: Martin Van Buren was born on December 5, 1782 in New York. He was the first non British president to serve in office. His life, before office, was poor. He grew up in a family with six siblings and his family owned six slaves. His parents were not wealthy and couldn't afford a lot. His dad owned a tavern and an inn that government officials came to eat and sleep at. Martin Van Buren was a member of the New York Senate, followed by becoming the governor of New York, and later he was appointed a minister to Great Britain for his loyalty to Andrew Jackson. Finally he became the President of the United States.

Right before Van Buren was elected president of the United States, panic for economic and financial recession started. The banks shut down soon after Van Buren got into office.

lead to Van Buren's panic of 1837

Right before leaving office in 1836, Andrew Jackson issued the Specie Circular, which allowed the Treasury to no longer accept paper notes as payment for land purchased from the government. Instead people had to use gold and silver to purchase the land. The Deposit and Distribution Act of 1836 only allowed the Treasury to get, hold on to, or make a payment using Treasury notes or specie notes. All of the problems with the banks brought about the panic of 1837.

When Van Buren became president, the economy failed. Several hundred banks closed, and many failed. This became one of the few times in history that the treasury rapidly began to decrease in America. There were at least 50,000 unemployed Americans and 90% of the factories on the east coast closed down. America was in a recession!

The debt from local banks took money out of the peoples' pockets by demanding people repay their loans. A lot of the paper money was not backed up by silver or gold making it worthless. People demanded that the banks pay them in silver and gold for their currency. The government had to borrow money to pay their expenses. Unemployment starting becoming a huge problem within a few weeks after Van Buren became president. He was mocked, and made fun of daily for not being anything near what Andrew Jackson was as a president. When Van Buren came into office he seemed to be blamed for causing the panic of 1837. In reality the downfall started when Andrew Jackson closed the Second Bank of the United States

During 1837 the reason the government had to shut down the banks, was so that the long term debt wouldn't continue to increase.

When Van Buren's four year term ended for presidency, he was not reelected. He lost to William Henry Harrison. Van Buren was not able to deal with the financial debt during his time in office. This might have been an impossible task for anyone.

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