He also became entrenched in the vicious and expensive Second Seminole War that his predecessor had started.
By continuing the Trail of Tears, he solidified his place in history as someone who did not fully embrace all people's natural rights.
He was also a strong opponent of nationalizing state militias and was encouraged by the trend towards voluntary rather than compulsory service.
Van Buren stated that, "We have a character among the nations of the earth to maintain.
He was very willing to defy them and side with blacks when it came to minor incidents.
However, when it came to major issues, he would not go as far as John Quincy Adams in defending African American rights.
The first, and most laudatory, was his peaceful foreign policy. He was also successful in preventing two wars with Mexico and the U. by maintaining a neutral stance that promoted free trade over mercantilist conflict.
He also opposed the annexation of Texas for fear it would divide the party over the slavery question (and boy was he right about that! This was a trait seen during the Jackson administration, when he successfully negotiated a trade settlement with the British West Indies, and prevented a war with France over Jackson's hot temper.
While one can disagree with his political ideology, he provides a useful model for how one can maintain their principles even after you get into office.
So let's review some of his achievements in office. influence and territory, Van Buren opposed any further empire building.