An economic depression began not long after Martin Van Buren took office. With the federal surplus being deposited in state banks, there was new capital available for borrowers. Many of the banks were careless in loaning money to land speculators. President Jackson issued the Specie Circular which stated that investors had to pay for land transactions with gold or silver rather than the flood of paper money which local banks were printing in an effort to loan out the federal surplus. Within a month of Van Buren’s inauguration, many local banks were unable to make their payments in gold or silver, and the nation entered a financial depression.
The Whig Party eagerly awaited the 1840 election. The first Whig Party National Convention nominated William Henry Harrison for President eleven months before the election.
The Democratic Party met in the spring of 1840 in Baltimore and unanimously nominated Van Buren once again. The convention took the bold step of declining to make a nomination for Vice President, as there were numerous rumors about VP Richard M. Johnson’s social habits which embarrassed the Democrats. Most of the Democratic electors in the nation supported Johnson for re-election.
The Whig Party developed many innovative campaign techniques in 1840. It organized a club named "Original Jackson Men" which held a convention at Columbus on 9/25/1840; John Tyler was the keynote sp