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. This political party, formed in 1834 and lasting until 1854, was the major political party opposing Andrew Jackson, who they called, "King Andrew," and his Democratic Party in the antebellum era. The party inherited the Federalist belief in a strong federal government and adopted many Federalist and National Republican policy ideas, including federal funding for internal improvements (building roads, canals, bridges; improving harbors), a central bank, and high tariffs to protect the growth of manufacturing enterprises. Famous members of this party included President William Henry Harrison, President Zachary Taylor, and Henry Clay.