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
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
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.