John Tyler (March 29, 1790 – January 18, 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841–1845). A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President (1841). He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor. Tyler's opposition to nationalism and emphatic support of states' rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allies that brought him to power in Washington. His presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties, and at the end of his life, he would join the South in secession from the United States.
Tyler was born to an aristocratic Virginia family and he came to national prominence at a time of political upheaval. By the 1820s the nation's only political party, the Democratic-Republicans, began to split into factions, none of which shared Tyler's strict constructionist ideals. His opposition to Democratic leaders Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren led him to be elected Vice President on the Whig ticket. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on April 4, 1841, only a month after his inauguration, a short Constitutional crisis arose over the succession process. Tyler took the oath of office on April 6, 1841. He then moved into the White House and assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the twenty-fifth amendment.
Once he became president he stood against his party's platform and vetoed several of their proposals. As a result, most of his cabinet resigned, and the Whigs, dubbing him His Accidency, expelled him from the party. While he faced a stalemate on domestic policy, he still made several foreign policy achievements, signing the Webster–Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with China. Tyler dedicated his last two years in office to his landmark accomplishment, the 1845 annexation of the Republic of Texas. With little hope for re-election, he created a third party to move public opinion in favor of annexation, which led to the 1844 presidential election of expansionist Democrat James K. Polk over Tyler opponents Henry Clay and Van Buren.