Van Buren had no specific goals when he went into the esteemed position of President of the United States. He was a slacker who merely ensured that the nation was not blown to pieces by another country. He followed the plans created in Jackson's administration and did nothing for his administration.
Van Buren did not carefully weigh alternatives when it came to critical decisions. The Caroline, a ship used to supply weapons to rebel Canadians, was burned and sent over Niagara Falls. In response to this, Van Buren sent troops to Canada to keep Americans from retaliating against England. His ride-the-fence attitude kept America a neutral country between England and Canada, but this is not what the citizens of America wanted. .
Van Buren was too incompetent to even create his own cabinet. He appointed the same people, with the exception of one man, that President Jackson had in his cabinet.
Van Buren's relationship with Congress was almost non-existent. When he called for a special session of Congress, they did not meet until four months after it was originally called. There were no major bills passed or vetoed, showing the dominance of neither of the two.
Van Buren was incapable of handling challenging situations. The Trail of Tears could have been prevented, or at the very least, *commuted?* Van Buren could have salvaged some public support from the Indians but he did absolutely nothing and was somewhat intentionally responsible for the death of ¼ of the Indian population.
The greatest success of Van Buren's administration was his opposition to giving Congress more power. Although Congress might have been able to make better decisions than he himself did, a legislative branch that is too powerful will upset the balance between the three branches of government.
The greatest failure of Van Buren's administration was the Trail of Tears. Although begun in Andrew Jackson's administration, Van Buren did nothing to stop or alter the decision made.