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Who Was Martin Van Buren? Hint: He Was a President.

Updated on December 18, 2015
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

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Van Buren for Teachers, Students, & All Who Love to Learn

Looking for great YouTube video clips, books, and free worksheets and lapbooks for teaching and/or learning about President Martin Van Buren? Here you will find my favorite picks we used while studying the individual Presidents of the United States. This is part of a series of lessons I posted on individual Presidents. You can find links to all the lessons at President's Day Unit Study .

Do You Think Martin Van Buren Was a Good President?

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Imperial print of Martin Van Buren from Mathew Brady - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Imperial print of Martin Van Buren from Mathew Brady - Metropolitan Museum of Art | Source

Just the Facts on Our 8th President

Presidential Term: 1837 - 1841

Political Party: Democrat

Vice President: Richard M. Johnson

Birthplace: New York

Occupation: Lawyer

Yearly Salary as President: $25,000

Height: 5'6"

First Lady: Hannah Hoes Van Buren

Fun Fact: Even though Martin Van Buren spoke Dutch rather than English as his first language, he was the first president to be born a U.S. citizen. He was also the first president to be from New York.

Most Helpful Worksheets, Lapbooks, Trivia, & Recipes

We found these to be helpful when creating a notebook and lapbook on Van Buren.

Martin Van Buren for Teachers offers links to lots of free worksheets covering Martin Van Buren. Also included are book suggestions, general information, coloring pages, interactive computer games, and more.

Martin Van Buren's Favorite Dutch Apple Cake Recipe provides a recipe for one of Van Buren's favorite desserts, Dutch Apple Cake, and also includes a description of some of his other favorite dishes.

Presidential Statistics and Points of Interest includes an overview of Martin Van Buren's life and some fun points of interest.

Our Favorite Children's Book on President Martin Van Buren

Martin Van Buren: Eighth President 1837-1841 (Getting to Know the US Presidents)
Martin Van Buren: Eighth President 1837-1841 (Getting to Know the US Presidents)
This was the only acceptable picture book we could find on Martin Van Buren. As is the case with all the books in this series, the author does a nice job of pulling out interesting tidbits of biographical information and includes fun illustrations that keep the interest of children. * We also enjoyed reading and using "How To Draw The Life And Times Of Martin Van Buren" (Kid's Guide to Drawing the Presidents of the United States of America) by Roderic Schmidt.

Timeline of Major Events During Van Buren's Presidency

Timeline of Major Events from 1837-1839

Panic of 1837 which led to a 4 year depression
John Deere invented the steel plow

Trail of Tears

Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber

1832 Whig cartoon
1832 Whig cartoon | Source

Jackson was largely responsible for Van Buren's election as president, as he was his hand-picked successor.

Panic of 1837
Panic of 1837 | Source

Though it was a direct result of Andrew Jackson's policies as president, Martin Van Buren's presidency is characterized by the Panic of 1837 and the 4 years of depression that followed. He became so unpopular because of his lack of response to the depression, that he was not reelected for a second term. Though he ran for president on 3 other occasions, he lost all 3 bids.

Portrait of Martin Van Buren engraved by John Sartain and later painted by Henry Inman
Portrait of Martin Van Buren engraved by John Sartain and later painted by Henry Inman | Source

Some claim that the term "O.K." was popularized due to Martin Van Buren's nickname as Old Kinderhook, since he was from Kinderhook, New York. His supporters formed "O.K. Clubs."

Our Favorite YouTube Video Clip on President Van Buren

Looking for more lessons on Presidents or all of my unit studies and lessons?

  • President's Day Unit Study - I posted links to each of my lessons on individual Presidents here. In each lesson I included fun worksheets, children's books, YouTube clips, timelines, and recipe ideas. On this page I also included our favorite books and YouTube video clips that cover all of the Presidents of the United States.
  • Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies? Over the years I have posted over 35 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 170 lessons. For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons on this page.


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