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The Presidency Of James Knox Polks

2260 words - 9 pages

He was the 11th president of the United States and was known as “young hickory”, and the first “dark horse”. James Knox Polk accomplished many things in his life. He served in the House of Representative, became governor of Tennessee, and became president of the United States. His achievements impacted the U.S and made it what it is today. For example he annexed Texas, lowered tariffs, established an independent Federal Treasury, went to war with Mexico, and added three states to the union. If James Polk did not become president, then there is a possibility that California, New Mexico and Oregon would not be a part of the United States.
James Knox Polk was born November 2, 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. James was the son of a surveyor and farmer Samuel Polk and mother Jane Polk who came from the family of Scottish religious reformer John Knox. He was the oldest of four sisters and five brothers, many who died young. By the age of 10 he and his family moved to Duck River, Tennessee what is now known as Maury County. James was not a healthy youth and was diagnosed with gallstones, but had done a risky operation to get them removed. During his childhood years he only got an informal education. By age 18 he began his formal education. After attending formal schooling for two and half years Polk was permitted to go to University of North Carolina as a sophomore (Design). He had an interest in law and government by having a membership in a debating society. Graduating top honors in his class Polk returned to Tennessee to become a lawyer. To receive legal training “Polk served as a clerk for the Tennessee Senate working for attorney Felix Grundy” (Design). By the age of twenty-seven his political life began. He served in State Representative where he had met Sarah Childress, the daughter of a wealthy family and who was highly educated later on became his wife. With Sarah by his side he had many campaign victories. Being a supporter of Andrew Jackson’s democratic policies at age twenty-nine he was elected to the U.S. Congress. From 1825-39 James was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was serving as its speaker (Evisum Inc). After serving as speaker he became Governor of Tennessee in 1839-1841. In 1844 Democrats were having a difficult time getting 2/3 of the vote to nominate a presidential candidate, Polk who was running for the position of vice president, became nominated for the presidential candidate (Kelly). The focus on the campaign was to annex Texas which Polk was for the idea versus Clay who opposed the idea. Clay opposing the idea led Polk to victory.
Many problems had occurred with the state of Texas. Texans thought it would be best to interest security and economic stability to petition to the United States for annexation. In 1837 at the time President Martin Van Buren was against the idea of having Texas annexed because of concerns that it would become another slave state in the United States....

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