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James K. Polk
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This article is about the U.S. President. For the Ohio Congressman, see James G. Polk. For the submarine, see USS James K. Polk.
James Knox Polk
11th President of the United States
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
Vice President(s) George M. Dallas
Preceded by John Tyler
Succeeded by Zachary Taylor
17th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
December 7, 1835 – March 4, 1839
Preceded by John Bell
Succeeded by Robert M.T. Hunter
11th Governor of Tennessee
October 14, 1839 – October 15, 1841
Lieutenant(s) L.H. Coe
Preceded by Newton Cannon
Succeeded by James C. Jones
Born November 3, 1795
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
Died June 15, 1849, age 53
Political party Democratic
Spouse Sarah Childress Polk
James Knox Polk (November 2, 1795–June 15, 1849) was the eleventh President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1845 to March 4, 1849. Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, but mostly lived in and represented the state of Tennessee. A Democrat, Polk served as Speaker of the House (1835–1839) and governor of Tennessee (1839–1841) prior to becoming president.
Polk is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain then backed away and split the ownership of the Northwest with Britain. He is even more famous for leading the successful Mexican–American War. He lowered the tariff and established a treasury system that lasted until 1913. A "dark horse" in 1844, he was the first president who retired after one term and did not seek reelection. He died three months after his term ended.
As a Democrat committed to geographic expansion (or "Manifest Destiny") he overrode Whig objections and was responsible for the largest expansion of the nation's territory (exceeding even the Louisiana Purchase). He secured the Oregon Territory (including Washington, Oregon and Idaho), then purchased of 1.2 million square miles through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War. The expansionism, however, opened a furious debate over slavery in the new territories that was resolved by the Compromise of 1850. He signed the Walker Tariff that brought an era of near free trade to the country until 1861. He oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States. He was the first President of the United States to be extensively photographed while in office. Scholars have ranked him 10th to 12th on the list of greatest presidents for his ability to set an agenda and achieve all of it.
1 Early life
2 Career as slaveholder
3 Political career
3.1 Speaker of the House
3.2 Governor of Tennessee
4 Election of 1844
5.1 Fiscal policy
5.3 Foreign policy
5.3.2 Oregon territory
5.3.3 War with Mexico
5.4 Administration and Cabinet
5.5 Supreme Court appointments
5.6.1 29th Congress (March 4, 1845–March 4, 1847)
5.6.2 30th Congress (March 4, 1847–March 4, 1849)
5.7 States admitted to the Union
7 Polk in Pop-Culture
9 See also
10.1 Article Reference Material
10.2 Primary sources
11 External links
 Early life
Portrait of Polk before his presidency.Polk, the first of ten children, was born in what is now Pineville, North Carolina in Mecklenburg County in 1795. His father, Samuel Polk, was a slaveholder, farmer and surveyor of Scots-Irish descent, and related to Scottish nobility. His mother, Jane Polk (née Knox) was a descendant of the Scottish religious reformer John Knox. In 1806, the Polk family moved to Tennessee, settling near Duck River in what is now Maury County. The family grew prosperous, with Samuel Polk becoming one of the leading planters of the area. When James was 11, his family moved to Nashville, Tennessee.
During his childhood, James suffered from poor health. In 1812, his father took him to Kentucky, where the famous surgeon Dr. Ephraim McDowell conducted an operation to remove urinary stones. The operation may have left James sterile, as Polk never had children. For the rest of his life, Polk did enjoy comparatively better health.
Polk was home schooled; his formal education began at the age of 18, when he studied at Zion Church near his home. He later attended a school in Murfreesboro, where he met his future wife, Sarah Childress. After less than three years of attending the school, Polk left Tennessee to enroll in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there, he practiced his oratorical skills as a member of the Dialectic Society. He graduated in 1818 and returned to Nashville to study law under Felix Grundy. Polk was admitted to the bar in 1820, and established his own practice in Columbia, Tennessee. He worked with Aaron V. Brown, future Governor of Tennessee and Postmaster General.
 Career as slaveholder
Polk was a slaveholder for almost his entire adult life. His father Samuel left title to over 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) of land and about 53 slaves to his widow and his children. James inherited control over nine of his father's slaves, either directly or from deceased brothers. In 1831, he became an absentee cotton planter, sending slaves to clear plantation land that his father had left him near Somerville, Tennessee. Three years later he sold his Somerville plantation and, together with his brother-in-law, bought 920 acres (370 ha) of land, a cotton plantation near Coffeeville, Mississippi. He ran this plantation for the rest of his life, eventually taking it over completely from his brother-in-law. He infrequently bought more slaves and sold others, although once he became President and could better afford it, he bought more slaves. Polk's will stipulated that their slaves were to be manumitted after both he and his wife Sarah had died. (All slaves were freed by state action in 1865.)
 Political career
Polk was brought up as a Jeffersonian Democrat, for his father and grandfather were strong supporters of Thomas Jefferson. The first public office he held was that of chief clerk of the Senate of Tennessee (1821–1823); he resigned the position in order to run his successful campaign for the state legislature. Polk's oratory became popular, earning him the nickname "Napoleon of the Stump." He courted Sarah Childress, and they married on January 1, 1824.
Polk became a supporter of Andrew Jackson, then the leading politician of Tennessee. In 1824, Jackson ran for President, while Polk campaigned for the House of Representatives. Polk succeeded, but Jackson was defeated. Though Jackson had won the popular vote, neither he nor any of the other candidates (John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William H. Crawford) had obtained a majority of the electoral vote, allowing the House of Representatives to select the victor. In his first speech, Polk expressed his belief that the House's decision to choose Adams was a violation of the will of the people; he even proposed (unsuccessfully) that the Electoral College be abolished.
In Congress, Polk was a firm supporter of Jacksonian democracy; he opposed the Second Bank of the United States, favored gold and silver over paper money; distrusted banks; and preferred agricultural interests over industrial ones. This behavior earned him the nickname "Young Hickory," an allusion to Andrew Jackson's sobriquet, "Old Hickory." After Jackson defeated Adams in the presidential election of 1828, Polk rose in prominence, becoming the leader of the pro-Administration faction in Congress. As chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, he lent his support to the President to abolish the National Bank.
 Speaker of the House
Polk became speaker in 1835. Jackson left office two years later, to be succeeded by fellow Democrat Martin Van Buren. Van Buren's term was a period of heated political rivalry between the Democrats and the Whigs, with the latter often subjecting Polk to insults, invectives, and challenges to duels.
 Governor of Tennessee
In 1838, the political situation in Tennessee—where, in 1835, Democrats had lost the governorship for the first time in their party's history—convinced Polk to return to help the party at home. Leaving Congress in 1839, Polk became a candidate in the Tennessee gubernatorial election, defeating the incumbent Whig, Newton Cannon. Though he revitalized Democrats in Tennessee, his victory could not put a stop to the political decline of the Democratic Party elsewhere in the nation. In the presidential election of 1840, Van Buren was overwhelmingly defeated by a popular Whig, William Henry Harrison. Polk lost his own gubernatorial re-election bid to a Whig, James C. Jones, in 1841. He challenged Jones in 1843 but was defeated once again.
 Election of 1844
Presidential electoral votes by state.Main article: United States presidential election, 1844
Polk initially hoped to be nominated for vice-president at the Democratic convention, which began on May 27, 1844. The leading contender for the presidential nomination was former President Martin Van Buren, who wanted to stop the expansion of slavery. Other candidates included General Lewis Cass (an expansionist) and James Buchanan (a moderate). The primary point of political contention involved the Republic of Texas, which, after declaring independence from Mexico in 1836, had asked to join the United States. Van Buren opposed the annexation but in doing so lost the support of many Democrats, including former President Andrew Jackson, who still had much influence. Van Buren won a simple majority on the convention's first ballot but did not attain the two-thirds supermajority required for nomination. After six more ballots, when it became clear that Van Buren would not win the required majority, Polk was put forth as a "dark horse" candidate. The eighth ballot was also indecisive, but on the ninth, the convention unanimously nominated Polk, who had Jackson's support. Despite having served as speaker of the House of Representatives, he was relatively unknown, leading many Whigs to snipe, "Who is James K. Polk?"
When advised of his nomination, Polk replied: "It has been well observed that the office of President of the United States should neither be sought nor declined. I have never sought it, nor should I feel at liberty to decline it, if conferred upon me by the voluntary suffrages of my fellow citizens." Because the Democratic Party was splintered into bitter factions, Polk promised to serve only one term if elected, hoping that his disappointed rival Democrats would unite behind him with the knowledge that another candidate would be chosen in four years.
1844 campaign bannerPolk's Whig opponent in the 1844 presidential election was Henry Clay of Kentucky. (Incumbent Whig President John Tyler—a former Democrat—had become estranged from the Whigs and was not nominated for a second term.) The question of the annexation of Texas, which was at the forefront during the Democratic Convention, once again dominated the campaign. Polk was a strong proponent of immediate annexation, while Clay seemed more equivocal and vacillating.
Another campaign issue, also relating to westward expansion, involved the Oregon Country, then under the joint occupation of the United States and Great Britain. The Democrats had championed the cause of expansion, informally linking the controversial Texas annexation issue with a claim to the entire Oregon Country, thus appealing to both Northern and Southern expansionists. (The slogan "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight", often incorrectly attributed to the 1844 election, did not appear until later; see Oregon boundary dispute.) Polk's consistent support for westward expansion—what Democrats would later call "Manifest Destiny"—likely played an important role in his victory, as opponent Henry Clay hedged his position.
In the election, Polk won in the South and West, while Clay drew support in the Northeast. Polk lost his home state of Tennessee as well as North Carolina, his alma mater. However, Polk won the crucial state of New York, where Clay lost supporters to the third-party candidate James G. Birney. Polk won the popular vote by a margin of about 38,000 out of 2.6 million, and took the Electoral College with 170 votes to Clay's 105.
Polk is still the only Speaker of the House of Representatives ever to be elected President of the United States.
When he took office on March 4, 1845, Polk, at 49, became the youngest man to assume the presidency. According to a story told decades later by George Bancroft, Polk set four clearly defined goals for his administration: the re-establishment of the Independent Treasury System, the reduction of tariffs, acquisition of some or all the Oregon boundary dispute, and the purchase of California from Mexico. Resolved to serve only one term, he accomplished all these objectives in just four years. By linking new lands in Oregon (with no slavery) and Texas (with slavery) he hoped to satisfy both North and South.
 Fiscal policy
In 1846, Congress approved the Walker Tariff (named after Robert J. Walker, the Secretary of the Treasury), which represented a substantial reduction of the high Whig-backed Tariff of 1842. The new law abandoned ad valorem tariffs; instead, rates were made independent of the monetary value of the product. Polk's actions were popular in the South and West; however, they earned him the contempt of many protectionists in Pennsylvania.
In 1846, Polk approved a law restoring the Independent Treasury System, under which, government funds were held in the Treasury rather than in banks or other financial institutions. This established independent treasury deposit offices, separate from private or state banks, to receive all government funds.
Polk's views on slavery made his presidency bitterly controversial between proponents of slavery, opponents of slavery, and advocates of compromise, and the effect of his own career as a plantation slaveholder on his policymaking has been argued. During his presidency, many abolitionists harshly criticized him as an instrument of the "Slave Power," and claimed that the expansion of slavery lay behind his support for the annexation of Texas and later war with Mexico. Polk stated in his diary that he believed slavery could not exist in the territories won from Mexico, but refused to endorse the Wilmot Proviso that would forbid it there. Polk argued instead for extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, which would prohibit the expansion of slavery above 36° 30' west of Missouri, but allow it below that line if approved by eligible voters in the territory.
 Foreign policy
Polk was committed to expansion—Democrats believed that opening up more farms for yeoman farmers was critical for the success of republican virtue. (See Manifest Destiny.) To balance the interests of North and South he sought the Oregon territory (comprised of present-day Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia), as well as Texas. He sought to purchase California, which Mexico had neglected.
Main article: Texas Annexation
President Tyler had interpreted Polk's victory as a mandate for the annexation of Texas. Acting quickly because he feared British designs on Texas, Tyler urged Congress to pass a joint resolution admitting Texas to the Union; Congress complied on February 28, 1845. Texas promptly accepted the offer and officially became a state on December 29, 1845. The annexation angered Mexico, however, which had succumbed to heavy British pressure and had offered Texas its semi-independence on the condition that it should not attach itself to any other nation. Mexican politicians had repeatedly warned that annexation meant war.
 Oregon territory
Main article: Oregon boundary dispute
The Oregon Territory, established by the Oregon Treaty.Polk put heavy pressure on Britain to resolve the Oregon boundary dispute. Since 1818, the territory had been under the joint occupation and control of Great Britain and the United States. Previous U.S. administrations had offered to divide the region along the 49th parallel, which was not acceptable to the British, who had commercial interests along the Columbia River. Although the Democratic platform had asserted a claim to the entire region, Polk was prepared to quietly compromise. When the British again refused to accept the 49th parallel boundary proposal, Polk broke off negotiations and returned to the "All Oregon" position of the Democratic platform, which escalated tensions along the border.
Expansionists after the 1844 election shouted "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!" This slogan, often associated with Polk, was in fact the position of his rivals in the Democratic Party, who wanted Polk to be as uncompromising in acquiring the Oregon territory as he had been in annexing Texas. Polk wanted territory, not war, and compromised with the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Aberdeen. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 divided the Oregon Country along the 49th parallel, the original American proposal. Although there were many who still clamored for the whole of the territory, the treaty was approved by the Senate. The portion of Oregon territory acquired by the United States would later form the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and parts of the states of Montana and Wyoming.
 War with Mexico
Main article: Mexican-American War
After the Texas annexation, Polk turned his attention to California, hoping to acquire the territory from Mexico before any European nation did so. The main interest was San Francisco Bay as an access point for trade with Asia. In 1845, he sent diplomat John Slidell to Mexico to purchase California and New Mexico for $30 million (although whitehouse.gov claims that it was $20 million, and The American Pageant states that it was $25 million). Slidell's arrival caused political turmoil in Mexico after word leaked out that he was there to purchase additional territory and not to offer compensation for the loss of Texas. The Mexicans refused to receive Slidell, citing a technical problem with his credentials. In January 1846 to increase pressure on Mexico to negotiate, Polk sent troops under General Zachary Taylor into the area between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande—territory that was claimed by both the U.S. and Mexico.
Slidell returned to Washington in May 1846, having been rebuffed by the Mexican government. Polk regarded this treatment of his diplomat as an insult and an "ample cause of war", and he prepared to ask Congress for a declaration of war. Coincidentally, mere days before Polk intended to make his request to Congress, he received word that Mexican forces had crossed the Rio Grande area and killed eleven American troops. Polk then made this the casus belli, and in a message to Congress on May 11, 1846, he stated that Mexico had "invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil." He did not point out that the territory in question was disputed and did not unequivocally belong to the United States. Several congressmen, including a young Abraham Lincoln, expressed doubts about Polk's version of events,  but Congress overwhelmingly approved the declaration of war, many Whigs fearing that opposition would cost them politically.  In the House, anti-slavery Whigs led by John Quincy Adams voted against the war; among Democrats, Senator John C. Calhoun was the most notable opponent of the declaration.
The Mexican Cession (in red), acquired through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The Gadsden Purchase (in yellow) acquired through purchase.By the summer of 1846, New Mexico had been conquered by American forces under General Stephen W. Kearny. Meanwhile, Army captain John C. Frémont led settlers in northern California to overthrow the Mexican garrison in Sonoma. General Zachary Taylor, at the same time, was having success on the Rio Grande. The United States also negotiated a secret arrangement with Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican general and dictator who had been overthrown in 1844. Santa Anna agreed that, if given safe passage into Mexico, he would attempt to persuade those in power to sell California and New Mexico to the United States. Once he reached Mexico, however, he reneged on his agreement, declared himself President, and tried to drive the American invaders back. Santa Anna's efforts, however, were in vain, as generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott destroyed all resistance.
Polk sent diplomat Nicholas Trist to negotiate with the Mexicans. Lack of progress prompted the President to order Trist to return to the United States, but the diplomat ignored the instructions and stayed in Mexico to continue bargaining. Trist successfully negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which Polk agreed to ratify, ignoring calls from Democrats who demanded the annexation of the whole of Mexico. The treaty added 1.2 million square miles (3.1 million square kilometers) of territory to the United States; Mexico's size was halved, whilst that of the United States increased by a third. California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming were all included in the Mexican Cession. The treaty also recognized the annexation of Texas (and so the Mexican Cession includes the land annexed) and acknowledged American control over the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. Mexico, in turn, received the sum of $15 million. The war involved less than 20,000 American casualties but over 50,000 Mexican casualties. It had cost the United States nearly $100 million. Finally, the Wilmot Proviso injected the issue of slavery in the new territories, even though Polk had insisted to other congressmen and in his diary that this had never been a war goal.
The treaty, however, needed ratification by the Senate. In the summer of January 1848, the Whigs, who had been so opposed to Polk's policy, suddenly changed position. Two-thirds of the Whigs voted for Polk's treaty. This ended the war and legalized the acquisition of the territories. Later in 1848, the Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor, the hero of the war, for president. Taylor said there would be no future wars, but he refused to criticize Polk, who kept his promise not to run for reelection. The Whigs therefore dropped their criticism of the war and won the November election.
In the summer of 1848, President Polk authorized his ambassador to Spain, Romulus Mitchell Saunders, to negotiate the purchase of Cuba and offer Spain up to $100 million, an astounding sum of money at the time for one territory. (For comparison, the President's salary was only $5,000 a year in 1848; today, it is $400,000.) Cuba was close to the United States and had slavery, so the idea appealed to Southerners but was unwelcome in the North. The Spanish government rejected Saunders' overtures.
 Administration and Cabinet
Official White House portrait of James K. PolkOFFICE NAME TERM
President James K. Polk 1845–1849
Vice President George M. Dallas 1845–1849
Secretary of State James Buchanan 1845–1849
Secretary of the Treasury Robert J. Walker 1845–1849
Secretary of War William L. Marcy 1845–1849
Attorney General John Y. Mason 1845–1846
Nathan Clifford 1846–1848
Isaac Toucey 1848–1849
Postmaster General Cave Johnson 1845–1849
Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft 1845–1846
John Y. Mason 1846–1849
 Supreme Court appointments
Polk appointed the following Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court:
Levi Woodbury – 1845
Robert Cooper Grier – 1846
 29th Congress (March 4, 1845–March 4, 1847)
Senate: 31 Democrats, 31 Whigs, 1 Other
House: 143 Democrats, 77 Whigs, 6 Others
 30th Congress (March 4, 1847–March 4, 1849)
Senate: 36 Democrats, 21 Whigs, 1 Other
House: 115 Whigs, 108 Democrats, 4 Others
 States admitted to the Union
Texas – December 29, 1845
Iowa – December 28, 1846
Wisconsin – May 29, 1848
James K. Polk's tomb lies on the grounds of the state capitol in Nashville, Tennessee.Polk's time in the White House took its toll on his health. Full of enthusiasm and vigor when he entered office, Polk left on March 4, 1849, exhausted by his years of public service. He lost weight and had deep lines on his face and dark circles under his eyes. He is believed to have contracted cholera in New Orleans, Louisiana, on a goodwill tour of the South. He died at his new home, Polk Place, in Nashville, Tennessee, at 3:15 p.m. on June 15, 1849. Polk's devotion to his wife is illustrated by his last words: "I love you, Sarah. For all eternity, I love you." She lived at Polk Place for over forty years after his passing, a retirement longer than that of any other First Lady of the United States. She died on August 14, 1891.
Polk had the shortest retirement of all Presidents who did not die in office, at 103 days. He was also the youngest former president to die in retirement at the age of 53, and he was the youngest president to die a natural death.
He and his wife are buried in a tomb on the grounds of the Tennessee State Capitol Building, in Nashville, Tennessee.
 Polk in Pop-Culture
They Might Be Giants' song "James K. Polk" chronicles his political career from the 1844 nomination to his retirement.
In The West Wing Episode 'The Fall's Gonna Kill You', C.J. Cregg mentions how James Polk couldn't digest nuts because he had diverticulitis.
In the Seinfeld episode 'The Bizarro Jerry', Jerry is set up with a woman ("man hands") whose favorite president is listed as James Polk.
In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, the school Ned goes to is called "James K. Polk Middle School"
The high school in Married... with Children is Polk High.
Polk is the only President to win the presidency while losing both his resident state and birth state.
Polk is the only Speaker of the House of Representatives ever to be elected President.
Polk was the first 'Dark horse' to be elected President.
Polk was the first president to have his inauguration reported by telegraph.
While Polk was President, dancing, card-playing and alcoholic beverages were banned from the White House.
The first gaslight was turned on in the White House during Polk's administration on December 29, 1848.
Polk took the fewest vacations of any President serving at least a full term. He spent only 37 days away from his desk during his four years as president.
Polk had the shortest life as a former President, dying on June 15, 1849, three months (103 days) after his term ended (March 4, 1849). He was also the first President or former President to die before his mother did.
A week before he died, Polk was baptized a Methodist.
 See also
U.S. presidential election, 1844
List of places named for James K. Polk
^ The White House Historical Association, retrieved January 23, 2007
^ Haynes, Sam W. James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse. 2001. ISBN 0-321-08798-4. p.61-2
^ Haynes p. 129
^ Lincoln challenged the factual claims made by President Polk about the boundary, claiming it was indeterminant and should not have been a cause of war. Congressional Globe, 30th Session (1848) pp.93-95
^ In January 1848, the Whigs won a House vote attacking Polk in an amendment to a resolution praising Major General Taylor for his service in a "war unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun by the President of the United States". http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@... House Journal, 30th Session (1848) pp.183-184] The resolution, however, died in committee.
 Article Reference Material
Bergeron, Paul H. The Presidency of James K. Polk. 1986. ISBN 0-7006-0319-0.
Dusinberre, William. Slavemaster President: The Double Career of James Polk. 2003. ISBN 0-19-515735-4. online edition
Dusinberre, William. "President Polk and the Politics of Slavery." American Nineteenth Century History 3.1 (2002): 1-16. ISSN 1466-4658. Argues Polk misrepresented the strength of abolitionism, grossly exaggerated the likelihood of slaves' massacring white families, and seemed to condone secession.
Eisenhower, John S. D. "The Election of James K. Polk, 1844." Tennessee Historical Quarterly. 53.2 (1994): 74-87. ISSN 0040-3261.
Haynes, Sam W. James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse. 2001. ISBN 0-321-08798-4.
Kornblith, Gary J. "Rethinking the Coming of the Civil War: a Counterfactual Exercise." Journal of American History 90.1 (2003): 76-105. ISSN 0021-8723. Asks what if Polk had not gone to war?
Leonard, Thomas M. James K. Polk: A Clear and Unquestionable Destiny. 2000. ISBN 0-8420-2647-9.
McCormac, Eugene Irving. James K. Polk: A Political Biography to the End of a Career, 1845-1849. 1995. ISBN 0-945707-10-X.
McCoy, Charles A. Polk and the Presidency. 1960.
Morrison, Michael A. "Martin Van Buren, the Democracy, and the Partisan Politics of Texas Annexation." Journal of Southern History 61.4 (1995): 695-724. ISSN 0022-4642. Discusses the election of 1844. online edition
Paul; James C. N. Rift in the Democracy. 1951. on 1844 election
Schouler, James. Democrats and Whigs, 1831-1847. Vol. 4 of History of the United States of America: Under the Constitution. 1917.
Sellers, Charles. James K. Polk, Jacksonian, 1795-1843. 1957.
Sellers, Charles. James K. Polk, Continentalist, 1843-1846. 1966.
Seigenthaler, John. James K. Polk: 1845–1849. 2003. ISBN 0-8050-6942-9.
Smith, Carter. Presidents, All You Need to Know: James K. Polk. 2004.
 Primary sources
Polk, James K. The Diary of James K. Polk During His Presidency, 1845-1849 edited by Milo Milton Quaife, 4 vols. 1910. Abridged version by Allan Nevins. 1929, online
Cutler, Wayne, et. al. Correspondence of James K. Polk. 1972-2004. ISBN 1-57233-304-9. 10 vol. scholarly edition of the complete correspondence to and from Polk.
 External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
James K. PolkWikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
James K. PolkWikisource has original works written by or about:
James K. PolkExtensive essay on James K. Polk and shorter essays on each member of his cabinet and First Lady from the Miller Center of Public Affairs
Inaugural Address of James K. Polk.
Biography of James K. Polk. The White House (Official Site).
First State of the Union Address (1845).
Second State of the Union Address (1846).
Third State of the Union Address (1847).
Fourth State of the Union Address (1848).
POTUS - James Knox Polk
Works by James K. Polk at Project Gutenberg
Obituary of President Polk in The Liberator (June 22, 1849)
Smithsonian's "Establishing Borders: The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48" with essay and lesson plans
John Alexander Cocke Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 6th congressional district
1825 – 1833 Succeeded by
William Fitzgerald Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 9th congressional district
1833 – 1839 Succeeded by
Harvey Magee Watterson
Gulian Verplanck Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee
1833 – 1835 Succeeded by
John Bell Speaker of the House of Representatives
December 7, 1835 – March 4, 1837
September 4, 1837 – March 4, 1839 Succeeded by
Robert M.T. Hunter
Newton Cannon Governor of Tennessee
1839 – 1841 Succeeded by
James C. Jones
Richard M. Johnson,
William Smith(a) Democratic Party vice presidential candidate(b)
1840 (lost) Succeeded by
George M. Dallas
Martin Van Buren Democratic Party presidential nominees
1844 (won) Succeeded by
John Tyler President of the United States
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849 Succeeded by
(a) The Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee was split this year between two candidates.
(b) The Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee split this year between Polk and Richard M. Johnson and Littleton W. Tazewell
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Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_K._Polk"
Categories: Presidents of the United States | Democratic Party (United States) presidential nominees | Speakers of the United States House of Representatives | Governors of Tennessee | History of the United States (1789–1849) | Members of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee | American Freemasons | American Methodists | American slaveholders | People from North Carolina | Scots-Irish Americans | Deaths from cholera | 1795 births | 1849 deaths
- 1 decade ago
Here is a link below I hope this helps if not let me know.
James K. Polk,
took the US to war with Mexico and expanded the
nation "from Sea to Shining Sea."
The policy of President James K. Polk, which resulted in war with Mexico in 1846, is frequently cited as an example of the presidential power to bring about a state of armed hostilities with other nations.