James K. Polk
James Knox Polk was the 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He was a protégé of Andrew Jackson and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. Polk achieved a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, which resulted in the cession by Mexico of nearly all the American Southwest.
About James K. Polk in brief
James Knox Polk was the 11th president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He previously was Speaker of the House of Representatives and Governor of Tennessee. A protégé of Andrew Jackson, he was a member of the Democratic Party and an advocate of Jacksonian democracy. Polk achieved a sweeping victory in the Mexican–American War, which resulted in the cession by Mexico of nearly all the American Southwest. He also secured a substantial reduction of tariff rates with the Walker tariff of 1846. Polk left office in 1849 and returned to Tennessee, where he died three months after leaving the White House. The prime legacy of Polk’s presidency of territorial expansion – with the U.S. reaching the Pacific coast and, roughly, its present contiguous borders – was a nation poised to become a world power, but with sectional divisions gravely exacerbated. The Polks had immigrated to America in the late 1600s, settling initially on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but later moving to south-central Pennsylvania and then to the Carolina hill country. The Polk clan dominated politics in Maury County and in the new town of Columbia in 1806, when Samuel Polk became a county judge and judge at the home of his son-in-law, Samuel Rawley, who had served as a judge and county judge for several years. James’ mother instilled lifelong traits of self-discipline, hard work, piety, and a belief in the imperfection of human nature, according to James A. Knox’s American National Biography article.
James refused to baptize his dog at his son’s baptism, and refused to declare his belief in Christianity at the young James’ young father’s baptism. He was the first of 10 children born into a family of farmers. His mother Jane named him after her father, James Knox. His father Samuel Polk was a farmer, slaveholder, and surveyor of Scots-Irish descent. He was a deist, whose own father Ezekiel Polk, was a Deist, who rejected his son’s belief in Presbyterianism. He followed his family to the Duck River area in Tennessee in 1803, and led four of his adult children and their families to what is now Maury county, Tennessee; Samuel Polk had already served as county judge, judge, and guest at his family’s home at Rawley’s home, who served as his guest at the Rawley home. He died in 1855, leaving behind a wife and four adult children, including James Knox Polk, Jr., who was a lawyer and judge in Tennessee. Polk is chiefly known for extending the territory of theUnited States through the Mexican American War; during his presidency, the United United States expanded significantly with the annexation of the Republic of Texas, the Oregon Territory, and the Mexican Cession following the American victory in the Mexican war. He left Congress to run for governor of Tennessee; he won in 1839, but lost in 1841 and 1843. Historians have praised Polk for having met during his four year term every major domestic and foreign policy goal he had set.