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8th PresidentNew York1837-1841DemocraticRichard M. Johnson
Martin Van Buren was born in the village of Kinderhook, New York in 1782. After graduating from Kinderhook Academy in 1796, he practiced law, and was soon involved in politics as a leader of the "Albany Regency." Buren with his interest in politics, decided to join the Democratic-Republican Party. In 1821 Van Buren was elected to the United States Senate. Before departing for Washington, D.C., he established the first statewide political machine in New York history. A political machine is an organization set up to ensure that a party maintains control of political offices. In Washington, Van Buren soon occupied an important position within the national party, which was beginning to split into fractions. Van Buren became leader of a fraction that supported states' rights and opposed a strong central government.
His position of leadership was rising quickly. Van Buren served from 1821-28, as the U.S. Senate, where he firmly backed the tariffs of 1824 and 1828. Van Buren was far more important as a political leader than as a legislator. He also organized the closely-knit political group known as the Albany Regency. Buren started becoming a leading supporter of William H. Crawford, who ran for President in 1824, but after the election of John Quincy Adams, Buren gradually started to support Andrew Jackson, who also ran for president. Van Buren worked to block Adams's programs and to win the presidency for Andrew Jackson in 1828.
He united several Democratic-Republican fractions into a new political organization that became the Democratic Party.
To assist Jackson in securing New York's 36 electoral votes, Van Buren agreed to run for governor of the state. In...