Category: US President
President John Tyler was the tenth President of the United States. John Tyler served one term, from 1841 to 1845. He took office when President Harrison died in 1841.
About the President
President John Tyler (1841-1845) was born in Charles City County, Virginia in 1790. He died January 18, 1862 in Richmond, Virginia.
John Tyler was a strong states rights advocate, common for Southern representatives at the time. When John Tyler was in the legislature, he voted against the Missouri Compromise, though it passed. John Tyler voted against bills that would limit slavery in any new territories formed, believing it to be a state’s decision whether to be slave or free, not a decision to be made by the federal government. In 1821, John Tyler left the legislature for a private legal practice.
In 1824, John Tyler was brought up in the congressional nominating caucus. He wasn’t selected by the caucus at that time but it raised his profile. John Tyler worked to save the College of William and Mary as a legislator. John Tyler then moved on to be Governor of Virginia, before being re-elected to a second term. From that position, he was elevated to the Senate in 1827. (Senators were selected by the legislatures at that time, not determined by a popular vote.) John Tyler was recommended as a VP pick in 1835 for the 1836 election, and was put on the ticket in the 1840 election.
President John Tyler (1841-1845) was a Whig. He was selected for the Vice Presidency to balance out the ticket with Harrison for President and garner southern votes. As a well-known states’ rights advocate, his addition was thought to better contrast Jackson’s strong central government position. Harrison won the presidency with Tyler as his VP.
After Harrison’s death due to pneumonia and complications of old age, Tyler became President.
Major Policies and Actions
President Tyler and the Congress passed the Log Cabin bill that allowed someone who settled land and developed it to claim up to 160 acres of land before it was offered for sale to the public, though they later had to pay $1.25 an acre for it.
John Tyler was a major states rights advocate. He tried to compromise on the establishment of a national bank, a forerunner of the Federal Reserve of today, but that compromise of an exchequer system failed. John Tyler vetoed the National Bank legislation.
Historical Events during His Presidency
John Tyler signed a tariff in 1842 that protected northern U.S. manufacturers. This act was to distaste of those in the South that exported agricultural products to England and imported significant manufactured goods from Europe. Political and economic rivalry between the states, like this one, was one of the contributing factors to the American Civil War.
In 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States.
John Tyler was the first Vice President to become President after the prior President died only a few weeks into office. Because of this, John Tyler was called “His Accidency”. This is a play on the title "Your Excellency".
After the southern states started to secede from the United States, President Tyler supported the Confederacy. Ironically, this President of the United States was a member of the Confederate House of Representatives when he died.
Tyler gave a eulogy at Thomas Jefferson’s funeral.