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Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) was President Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State from 1829 to 1831 and vice-president from 1833 to 1837. With Jackson's support he became the eighth president of the United States in 1837. Born in New York, Van Buren was admitted to the state bar in 1803 and served as a New York state senator (1812-1820) and attorney general (1815-1819) before being elected to the United States Senate in 1821.

As a member of the Senate, Van Buren was the principal architect of the coalition of mid-Atlantic and Southern politicians that supported the candidacy of Andrew Jackson in 1828. He convinced former presidential candidates John C. Calhoun and William Crawford (both southerners) to endorse Jackson, and he carefully crafted the tariff legislation of 1828 in order to attract mid-Atlantic agricultural and manufacturing interests to the new Democratic coalition.

Serving as Secretary of State during Jackson's first term as president, Van Buren became the president's most trusted and loyal advisor. He resigned in 1831 in order to facilitate Jackson's reorganization of his cabinet. Van Buren replaced Calhoun as Jackson's vice-presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket in 1832 and received Jackson's support in his successful campaign for the presidency in 1836.

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