1840, William Henry Harrison Defeats Martin Van Buren: The Appeal Of Running Military Heroes For President And The Issue Of Generalship As A Qualification For Executive Office – Guest Essayist: Lisa Ice-Jones

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“The President holds the sword of the community” and the Congress “not only commands the purse but prescribes the rules.” The “judiciary has no force or will, but merely an opinion.” Alexander Hamilton states all of this in his Federalist paper #78. The framers knew this separation of power was an important one. Knowing how to wield a sword designated an American patriot but could not and would not be the sole source of power. (Paulsen, 2015)

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1836, Martin Van Buren Defeats William Henry Harrison, Daniel Webster, Hugh White: The Unusual Practice Of Running Three Candidates By One Party (The Whigs) In Different Parts Of The Country – Guest Essayist: Lisa Ice-Jones

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Martin Van Buren was victorious over the Whig Party and its slate of candidates in the election of 1836, but the preparation for this victory had been a long time coming.  Van Buren had been championing the causes of Jefferson’s Democratic Republican party since early in his career.  He was, through his affiliation with his own political machine the “Albany Regency”, described as one of them and having great ability, great industry, indomitable courage and strict personal integrity.”  He later illustrated that he was capable of shrewd political maneuvering.    He chose to “tred generally in the footsteps of President Jackson” (Moore, 2007) but he also knew when to distance himself.  Because Jackson was a popular President with the people, they liked Van Buren’s alignment with Jackson.  They also liked the fact that Jackson trusted Van Buren even though Henry Clay, with his political magnetism, tried to convince the people that Van Buren was Jackson’s puppet and that Jackson would be controlling him from behind the scenes.

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