War against the Bank Although the bank had been chartered by Congress, it was run by private bankers instead of elected officials The Banks president was Nicholas Biddle, who came from a wealthy family Senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster urged Biddle to apply for an early charter They thought if Jackson vetoed the charter, it would cost him his reelection Jackson did veto the charter
The Election of 1832 Clay and Websters plan backfired as most people supported Jacksons veto of the charter Jackson won reelection with 219 electoral votes while Clay only received 49. In a plot to kill the bank, Jackson ordered the withdrawal of all government deposits from the bank and placed them into smaller state banks In 1836, he refused to sign a new charter for the bank and it was closed
New President Martin Van Buren was chosen as the Democratic nominee in 1836 He went up against the new Whig party, made up of former National Republicans and other anti-Jackson forces Van Buren easily defeated the Whigs, riding on the coat tails of Jackson popularity
Panic of 1837 After Van Burens election, the country entered a severe economic depression Land values dropped, investments declined and banks failed Thousands of businesses closed and thousands of people lost their jobs In the south, cotton prices fell to record lows Farmers plunged into debt and lost their land
Van Buren Steps In Van Buren believed in laissez-faire But he persuaded Congress to establish an independent federal treasury in 1840 The government would no longer deposit its money in state banks, as it had under Jackson The new treasury system would prevent banks from using government money to pay their own debts He hoped this would guard against a future crisis
The Whigs come to Power A lot of Democrats did not like Van Burens treasury. The party was divided, making way for the Whigs The Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison to run against Van Buren for president John Tyler would be his running mate Tippecanoe and Tyler too!
Man of the People Harrison needed to appeal to the laborers and farmers who had voted for Jackson Political cartoons showed Harrison, a wealthy man, standing in front of a log cabin
A Short Presidency Harrison died of pneumonia on April 4 th, 1841, just days after he was inaugurated John Tyler became the first vice-president to take over the presidency Tyler used to be a democrat, so he vetoed several bills sponsored by Whigs, causing him to be expelled from the party Increasingly, the Whigs started being divided by north, south, east and west, causing them to lose the next election. After only four years in office, the Whigs were out of power again.