The year was 1840. Martin Van Buren was completing a Presidential term blighted by terrible economic depression. This era, called the Hard Times, resulted from years of reckless Western land speculation and the growth of unregulated banks issuing a flood of unsecured paper money. The prolonged depression ravaged America’s agriculture and industry and saw hundreds of thousands starving and unemployed.

Inherited from President Andrew Jackson was the Van Buren Administration...(Expand Text)

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