The death of President William Henry Harrison led John Tyler to be the Vice President assumed the presidency despite the confusion brought upon unclear proceedings of presidential succession. He was inaugurated on April 6, 1840, and dubbed as the “Accidental President” and “Your Accidency.”
Few days of serving in the office, he accepted the resignation of his cabinet members who cannot stand his leadership. Unsurprisingly, all of his secretaries resigned. John Tyler held a special session of Congress to propose a new Bank of the United States, contradicting Andrew Jackson’s belief. He questioned the federal government’s rights in operating institutions that significantly affect the economy of the nation.
Impeachment attempts against John Tyler
Because of John Tyler’s continuous refusal to approve the proposals of the Whigs, he was expelled from the party and was left alone, without any political ally. After he vetoed the tariff bill, the House of Representatives considered to impeach him from the office. In American history, it was the first impeachment case filed against a president. Many members of Congress condemned his misuse of veto power.
Congressman John Botts introduced a resolution containing various charges against John Tyler in 1842. He called for a nine-member committee to investigate the president’s behavior to collect evidence and file a formal impeachment recommendation; however, the impeachment resolution against John Tyler did not pass.
In 1842, manufacturing states from the Northeast felt the pressure of tariff hike. John Tyler reluctantly signed the bill into law after being in dispute with Whig leaders because of their demand in restoring national banking and government land disbursement policies.
The tariff’s impact was felt immediately after a sharp decline of international trade a year after its ratification. The percentage of dutiable goods raised from 50 percent to 80 percent: this policy suppressed future trade and customs revenue.
Annexation of Texas
After Texas separated from Mexico in 1836, John Tyler saw the expansion as an economic advantage for the United States and saw it as a political ticket. Despite not getting any support from neither Whigs nor Democrats, James Pol, a Democrat, favored annexation of Texas. The president signed the annexation of Texas before he left the office. The succeeding president formally joined Texas in the Union, which resulted in a deteriorating relationship between the United States and Mexico. The unresolved dispute over the border arose to Mexican-American War.
Treaty of Wanghia
As John Tyler was eager to compete against Great Britain in international trade and market, he sent Caleb Cushing to China to conduct a diplomatic agreement between the Qing dynasty and the United States. The treaty established the principle of extraterritoriality. Chinese will be under Chinese law, and American consul would punish Americans. There are fixed tariffs on trade and the right to buy land where they can establish churches and hospitals. Also, it aimed America to access Asian ports.
Rhode Island Insurgents
Thomas Wilson Dorr was a Rhode Island legislator and wished to extend the voting rights to all adult white men in Rhode Island. Because of his dissatisfaction, he established a rival government to call for universal manhood suffrage.
John Tyler did not deploy, and armed forces until violence emerged. The president handled it without federal troops; however, state militia started to march towards the insurgents, which dispersed them but led to the extension of suffrage in Rhode Island.
Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842
The State of Secretary Daniel Webster, together with British Foreign Secretary, Lord Ashburton, resolved the Aroostook War. It was a nonviolent dispute over Maine and New Brunswick border. The edge was at the 49th parallel in the western frontier up to the Rocky Mountains, bisecting the Great Lakes. Seven crimes were subject to extradition, where a person committed a crime in another jurisdiction.
John Tyler also sought a treaty regarding the partition of Oregon County. Many Americans traveled along Oregon Trail; that is why the claim for the territory became a priority issue. The president’s enthusiasm agreed to split Oregon.
Extension of Monroe Doctrine
In 1842, President John Tyler extended the Monroe Doctrine to Hawaii islands to protect in from any European control or invasion. Hawaii became a crucial transit point since the United States began to explore its commercial trade in Asia. The Hawaiian government sought the United States’ support against the possibility that French forces might assault the islands.
End of Seminole War
The conflict was known as the Seminoles Wars, between the Native American tribes and the United States. John Tyler’s administration put an end to the Seminole War, the most costly and most prolonged Indian War in American history. Lands were offered to settlers for free if they promised to remain for at least five years. Briefly, the colonists wanted to join the Union. John Tyler accepted Florida as the 27th state and signed it on his last day as a president.