As President Andrew Jackson's campaign manager, political confidant, secretary of state, vice president, and finally, handpicked successor, this man played a major role in national politics and the establishment of Jacksonian democracy as a significant political force. Elected president in 1836, he promised to adhere to Jackson's policies, but a severe economic depression, the Panic of 1837, lasted throughout his administration and quickly undermined his popularity. He was defeated by the first Whig president, William Henry Harrison in 1840. By 1848, a coalition disgruntled Democrats and Whigs met in Buffalo, New York, formed the Free Soil Party, which was pledged to a platform against slavery, and nominated this former president as their candidate. After losing again, he retired from politics.