Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 9:00am

Why Was Martin Van Buren Called “Little Magician?”

Posted by vicepresidents

Martin Van Buren, the nation’s 8th Vice President during the Andrew Jackson years, was known to many friends as “Little Magician.” Some say he was called this because of his small stature (5 ft. 6 inches), while others say it’s more to do with the fact that he “magically” came up on the winning side of every debate.

He was actively involved in the political machinations of New York State. Over the years, he was credited with creating the Bucktails movement, which emphasized party loyalty, and for developing the Jacksonian Democrats. Van Buren also had no qualms about spoils systems, claiming that “strong political systems” were necessary to keep the north and south states fair and balanced.

What do you think… Was Van Buren wise beyond his years with his ideas about political parties, or would the system he created become a corrupt institution so entrenched in our society we can never escape it?


© 2010 The VEEP: Thoughts & Analysis on the Vice Presidents