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Accomplishments by the Tyler Administration

Despite the hostility between President Tyler and Congress, accomplishments were achieved on several fronts:

  • Repeal of Independent Treasury Act. Van Buren’s signature piece of legislation was repealed early in Tyler’s administration. The government resumed the practice of depositing federal funds in favored state banks.
  • Pre-emption Act of 1841. Many Western settlers had moved into areas prior to surveying, hoping that by occupying and improving the lands they would increase their chances for ownership when the government was ready to make the areas available. The squatters had much at stake: Without authorization or guarantee of future possession they invested their money, time and sweat into carving out farms or ranches. The idea of “pre-emption” was popular with westerners and many Democrats. The law of 1841 enabled squatters to have the first opportunity to purchase a tract of 160 acres at the minimum price of $1.25 per acre.
  • Triumph over the Seminole. The Second Seminole War, which occurred during the Tyler administration, effectively broke the back of this tribe's resistance. There was a smaller Third Seminole War, but the U.S. Army eventually stopped pursuing these Native Americans; by 1858, they numbered about 200.