While one can disagree with his political ideology, he provides a useful model for how one can maintain their principles even after you get into office.
So let's review some of his achievements in office. influence and territory, Van Buren opposed any further empire building.
[While] the lust of power, with fraud and violence in the train, has led other and differently constituted governments to aggression and conquest, our movements in these respects have always been regulated by reason and justice" (Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution.
Jacksonian America, 1815 — 1846 [New York Oxford University Press 1991], p. However, Americans were enthralled by expansion to the Southwest and into Canada, and it would be Van Buren's refusal to start a war that would be a huge cost to him politically during the election of 1840. While most historians would point to his inability to control the Panic of 1837 as a strike against him, looking into the issue deeper reveals a much different picture.
Van Buren was deflated by his defeat to the Whig general William Henry Harrison, who used "log and hard cider" populist tactics and fake news to win the Presidency (although his early death allowed the Jeffersonian John Tyler to continue many of the same policies as his predecessor).
While he would have a run in 1848 for the anti-slavery free soil party, his vindication for his peaceful and pragmatic policies would never come.
While many would count this as a negative, I would argue that it allowed for the public to be able to make clearer choices when it came to candidates, and allowed for the hardcore Jeffersonians to have a home again after Madison and Monroe's flip flopping.
It was Van Buren that was one of the principal architects of the Democratic Party, a new coalition of Old Republicans, Irish immigrants, and the working class.
If one looks at the evidence, the "free banking" era as it's known among economic historians, it was the most stable of any period in U. This is not to say there aren't some major issues with his presidency.
For one thing, Van Buren continued Jackson's policy of Native American removal from the Southeast in direct defiance of John Marshall's ruling that they possessed private property to the land they occupied.