Martin Van Buren National Historic Site
This historic home is named after the country's eighth president and founder of the Democratic Party, Martin Van Buren. Van Buren was preeminent among the second generation of American politicians. As eighth President - the first born under the U.S. flag - he continued building the Democratic Party he helped organize. His administration faced daunting challenges: The nation suffered a severe and lingering economic depression. Crises with Great Britain, Spain, and the Republic of Texas taxed his diplomatic skills. Most troubling throughout his forty year political career was the issue of extending slavery into new states. Van Buren opposed extension while still trying to cultivate a coalition of northern and southern interests. The issue divided the nation and his party and foreshadowed the whirlpool of frustration, anger and violence which was to consume the country in the 1860s. Martin Van Buren National Historic Site is a unit of the National Park Service and is operated for the benefit of present and future generations.
Backstory and Context
The history associated with Martin Van Buren and the culture of antebellum America is a rich vein to mine to learn about the country. Likewise, his farm Lindenwald provides a microcosm for us to discover the transformations taking place in America during the 1840s and 1850s.