Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns, and Elections

By William C. Binning; Larry E. Esterly et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

V

VAN BUREN, MARTIN ( 1782-1862) was born in the Dutch settlement of Kinderhook, Columbia County, New York on December 5, 1782. Becoming, in the 1820s, one of the principal organizers of the Jacksonian Democratic Party, it is alleged that the young Van Buren acquired an early interest in politics listening to the debate about candidates and issues among the farm and village patrons of his father's tavern. Largely self-educated, Van Buren, age fourteen, began the study of law with a local attorney, later continuing that study in New York City. Admitted to the bar in 1803, Van Buren practiced in Columbia County, appointed surrogate there in 1808. Four years later he was elected to the New York Senate where he served, with rapidly rising influence, until 1821. In this period Van Buren became increasingly active in the factional politics that constituted Jeffersonian Republicanism in New York State. Never forgiving Dewitt Clinton for his brief flirtation with the Federalists, accepting that party's presidential nomination in 1812, Van Buren battled the Clintonians to the very day of Governor Clinton's death in February of 1828. Despite some largely personal victories scored by Clinton in the 1820s, it was Van Buren who by that time controlled New York politics, having organized a statewide political machine under his personal leadership and that of a council of selected partisans known as the "Albany Regency"; the machine relying heavily on the use of a strict patronage distributed on the basis of party (i.e., factional) loyalty, a tightly controlled state legislative caucus, and a dedicated and talented governing elite. It was these superb organizational and manipulative skills, combined with his modest height, that were to earn Van Buren the nickname the "Little Magician." It was, however, this same ability and emphasis that led to a lifelong perception of Van Buren as a man more interested in politics as a pragmatic means to power than as a principled means to policy. Secure in the assessment that the

-427-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Encyclopedia of American Parties, Campaigns, and Elections
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 467

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?