Martin Van Buren Quotes

Andrew Jackson

I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men... in receiving from the people the sacred trust confided to my illustrious predecessor. Martin Van Buren Source: I cannot expect to perform the task with equal ability and success. Martin Van Buren taking over from Andrew Jackson in 1837 Source:

Being President

"Unlike all who have preceded me, the Revolution that gave us existence as one people was achieved at the period of my birth; and whilst I contemplate with grateful reverence that memorable event, I feel that I belong to a later age and that I may not expect my countrymen to weigh my actions with the same kind and partial hand." Martin Van Buren Source: "As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it." Martin Van Buren Source:


"For myself, therefore, I desire to declare that the principle that will govern me in the high duty to which my country calls me is a strict adherence to the letter and spirit of the Constitution as it was designed by those who framed it." Martin Van Buren Source:

Government Appropriations

"To avoid the necessity of a permanent debt and its inevitable consequences, I have advocated and endeavored to carry into effect the policy of confining the appropriations for the public service to such objects only as are clearly with the constitutional authority of the Federal Government." Martin Van Buren Source:

Government Relief

"Those who look to the action of this government for specific aid to the citizen to relieve embarrassments arising from losses by revulsions in commerce and credit, lose sight of the ends for which it was created, and the powers with which it is clothed. It was established to give security to us all. … It was not intended to confer special favors on individuals. The less government interferes with private pursuits, the better for the general prosperity." Martin Van Buren in response to the Panic of 1837.

Our Government's Power

The people under our system, like the king in a monarchy, never dies. Martin Van Buren Source:

Public Opinion

"There is a power in public opinion in this country—and I thank God for it: for it is the most honest and best of all powers which will not tolerate an incompetent or unworthy man to hold in his weak or wicked hands the lives and fortunes of his fellow-citizens." Martin Van Buren Source:


"All forms of religion have united for the first time to diffuse charity and piety, because for the first time in the history of nations all have been totally untrammeled and absolutely free." Martin Van Buren Source:Second Annual Message to Congress, 3 December 1838


"It is easier to do a job right than to explain why you didn't." Martin Van Buren Source:


No evil can result from its (slavery's) inhibition more pernicious than its toleration. Martin Van Buren Source: US President's Web Ring Home Page

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