John Tyler was the first Vice President who was elevated to the President’s office because of the death of his predecessor. For this reason, he was also called “His Accidency” by his critics.
Tyler was born and brought up in Virginia. The importance of constitution was imbibed into him from his childhood and this conviction never left him. He studied law at the College of William and Mary.
John Tyler served in the House of Representatives for 5 years from 1816 to 1821. Tyler voted against a large portion of nationalist legislation and also opposed the Missouri Compromise. After leaving the House of Representatives, he became the Governor of Virginia. As a Senator, he supported Jackson for president, but soon joined the Whig party formed by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay which opposed Jackson.
Tyler was nominated as the Vice President from the Whig Part in 1840. The election campaign slogan of “Tippecanoe and Tyler too” is one of the most famous slogans in American politics along with “Log Cabins and Hard Cider” which was used for Harrison in the same year. Upon Harrison death, Tyler became the new American President.
He took the presidential oath on April 6th and both the house and Senate passed resolution which recognized Tyler as the President. He also delivered Inaugural Address, making his entrance more formal.
Clay’s plans were not to be assumed by Tyler and Clay’s bill was vetoed by Tyler which was to form a National Bank with branches in a number of states. The consequence, Tyler was expelled from the Whig Party and all but the Secretary of the State resigned from the cabinet.
Another veto against a tariff bill caused the first impeachment resolution to be passed against a President. The impeachment resolution that was brought in the House of Representatives was headed by John Quincy Adams and the reason stated was the misuse of the president’s veto power. However, the resolution failed.
In spite of the large number of differences between President Tyler and the Whig part, a lot of positive legislations were enacted during the term. The “Log-Cabin” bill was passed that enabled a settler to assert ownership over 160 acres of land before the land was made public and the settler had to pay 1.25 US$ for it later.Tyler signed a tariff bill in 1842 to protect the northern manufacturers. In 1845, Texas was annexed the Canadian boundary dispute that rose as a result of the Webster-Ashburton treaty was settled.
The administration path followed by Tyler strengthened the Presidency. However, it also led to an increase in the sectional cleavage which later caused the civil war. The original Whig cabinet was replaced by southern conservatives by the end of Tyler’s term. Calhoun became the Secretary of State in 1844 and the cabinet became more committed to the democratic party which was supporting the protection of states’ rights, slavery and planter interests. Whigs became the supporters of farming and northern business interests.
The final year of Tyler’s term was stained by an accident in which two cabinet members were killed.
When first southern states became independent in 1861, Tyler wanted a compromise; failing, the Southern Confederacy was created. Tyler died in 1862 as a member of the Confederate House of Representatives.