James K. Polk U.s.Mexican War

James K. Polk was the 11th President, serving from 1845-1849, belonging to the Democratic party. Polk's poor health conditions throughout his childhood made formal schooling impossible, however, he soon was accepted and graduated with honors from University of North Carolina in 1818. Later, he went on to become a speaker of the House (1835-39) as well as the governor of Tennessee, and the front runner for vice presidency in 1844.

President Polk had a strong belief in the “manifest destiny”, the belief that the expansion of the U.S. across America was necessary. In 1836, Texas had gained its independence from Mexico, however, because of opposing political beliefs on adding another slave state, it was not included into the Union. Border raids were encouraged by the Mexican government as well as threatening to initiate war if annexation was attempted. Polk believed that Texas should be re-incorporated, and Oregon should be re-occupied, and focused on gaining California and New Mexico. When his offer to purchase those lands were rejected, he instigated a fight by moving troops into a zone between the Rio Grande and Nueces River

Feb. 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, establishing the Rio Grande and not the Nueces River as the U.S.-Mexican border. Under the treaty, Mexico also recognized the U.S. annexation of Texas, and agreed to sell California and the rest of its territory North of the Rio Grande for $15 million plus the assumption of certain damages claims.

Polk accomplished nearly everything that he said he wanted to accomplish as President. For example, the gain of the Oregon Territory, California, and the Territory of New Mexico; the settlement of the Texas border dispute; lower tariff rates, the establishment of a new federal depository system, and the strengthening of the executive office. Polk left office the most successful President since George Washington in the accomplishment of his goals.


Created with images by cliff1066™ - "James Knox Polk, Eleventh President (1845-1849)" • Loco Steve - ""John Alexander Logan" - Statue - Washington DC." • Boston Public Library - "James K. Polk. Born in North Carolina November 2, 1795. President from 1845 to 1849. - Died June 15th, 1849 aged 56 years. Compliments of Julius Saul, leading clothier, 324 & 326 River St., Troy. [front]"

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