"In making hundreds of political decisions and moral choices during his career, Van Buren sought to maintain a balance between what he considered the republican principles of his youth and the demands of the democratic system he was building. When balance was impossible and something had to give way, politics took precedence over ideology."
Donald B. Cole
The eighth President of the United States, Martin Van Buren, was one of a generation of politicians who led the country through a period of enormous economic, technological and social change. His Papers, brought together in a single microfilm collection, are a significant primary source for the study of American political and social history between the end of the Revolution and the Civil War. All the major domestic and foreign policy concerns of the day are debated in his extensive correspondence from slavery and the principles of Free Soil to relations with Mexico and negotiations with Great Britain over the Canadian rebellion.