James Polk

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

James Polk 1845-1849 11th President of the United States James Polk was the 11th president of the United states from 1845-1849. Polk was the first president to commit himself to a single term.

He also had definite goals for his administration, which included a reduced tariff, reestablishment of the Independent Treasury System, settlement of the Oregon Question, and the annexation of Texas. Polk's methods of obtaining his goals did not always satisfy the majority of people, but in the end they worked.

The Oregon boundary dispute and the Mexican War were undoubtedly the most important issues faced by Polk during his term. But Polk also managed to put together an impressive list of other achievements. He lowered the Whig-inspired tariff of 1842 and restored the Independent Treasury along with other achievements. In the four years Polk served in office he was away from his desk for a total of only six weeks and accomplished more than some presidents had in eight years.

Polk was an intense partisan who had made politics his whole life. He displayed a resolute devotion to old-fashioned Jeffersonian principles.

However he was not an imaginative statesman and he could not inspire the strong devotion that Jefferson did. Although he had seen to it that the United States border was stretched to the Pacific, he did little to resolve the resulting dispute over slavery in the newly-acquired territories. His insensitivity to the moral dimensions of the slavery question made it impossible for him to understand the antislavery impulse.

The Mexican war issue that arose because of the annexation of Texas and the Question over the acquisition of the Oregon territory were the major causes that can be used to evaluate Polk's decisions having to do with national interests. The Mexican War arose because the United States...