The Republican Vision of John Tyler

The Republican Vision of John Tyler

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Perhaps no other president has so often borne the epithet of "imbecile" as John Tyler, who was expelled from his own party by a rump Whig congressional caucus. The vicious political infighting that characterized his term may account for the low regard in which his presidency has been held by historians, who have generally ranked him as one of the least successful chief executives, despite achievements such as the Webster-Ashburton treaty, which heraided improved relations with Great Britain, and the annexation of Texas, which added millions of acres to the national domain. Why did John Tyler pursue what appears to have been a politically self-destructive course with regard to both his first party, the Democrats, and his later political alliance, the Whigs? Was it on the grounds of principle, as he asserted? And if so, what principles? Dan Monroe has set out to explain the beliefs that commanded such overwhelming fealty from Tyler that they led to his resigning his Senate seat and exercising politically suicidal presidential vetoes. Monroe traces the origins of Tyler's political philosophy in his early years in the Virginia legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives before examining the crises Tyler faced during his term in the House: the Panic of 1819, the financially tottering national bank, and the Missouri debate. In surveying Tyler's Senate career, Monroe examines his conflict with President Andrew Jackson, the tariff controversy with South Carolina, and the Removal crisis. Finally, Monroe turns from the establishment of Tyler's philosophical moorings and attitudes to their implementation during his term as president. He persuasively surveys a number of key events, such as the bank vetoes of 1841, the additional vetoes of the tariff in 1842, and the annexation of Texas. His intent is to find the unifying thread(s) of principle shaped in the earlier years that make sense of these controversial presidential actions. A portrait emerges of "a man struggling to maintain a treasured philosophical worldview amidst an unforgiving political maelstrom."show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 148.8 x 252.5 x 25.1mm | 567g
  • Texas A & M University Press
  • College Station, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • bibliography, index
  • 158544216X
  • 9781585442164

About Dan Monroe

DAN MONROE is a historian with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency who lives in Champaign, Illinois. He is currently working on a history of the Illinois Executive more

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