John Tyler, Champion of the Old South

John Tyler, Champion of the Old South

John Tyler, Champion of the Old South

John Tyler, Champion of the Old South

Excerpt

John Tyler's place in history is still under 'dispute. Historians of today are not in agreement as to the reasons for his behavior in his quarrel with the Whig Party. Some think that in vetoing the bank bills he was acting from patriotic motives, while others consider that he was betraying his party in a selfish effort to win the succession. For example, a late historian of rank regarded Tyler as a prevaricator and his constitutional distinctions not worthy of refutation, "being of the flimsiest texture, cobwebs crossed by cobwebs." Oil the other hand, another recent historian, with a reputation for scholarly fairness, expressed the view that Tyler "was actuated in the main by courage and consistency," and that "he acquitted himself in his quarrel with the Whigs only as might have been expected from a brave and determined man 'and a stanch believer in State rights." Such divergence in opinion shows that the question as to whether he was a patriotic statesman or a disloyal politician has as yet never found a satisfactory answer. The problem should be solved or the impossibility of finding a solution should be demonstrated. The performance of this task is one of the major objectives of the present work.

In the preparation of this volume I have read all the letters to and from John Tyler in the Tyler collections of papers . . .

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