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Polk the Pursposeful

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 7 years, 7 months ago



 A Country of Vast Designs - The Presidency of James K. Polk [1848 to 1852]

How a one term president extended American territory across the continent by threatening

war with England and manufacturing a controversial and unpopular two-year war with Mexico.






AP Focus - James K. Polk becomes the spokesman for those lured to the West. During his one term in office, the Oregon boundary dispute is settled, The Mexican – American War and cession take place, and California applies for statehood




TIPPECANOE AND TYLER TOO  Used by the Whig party in 1840, when William Henry Harrison, the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, was the Whig presidential candidate, and John Tyler his running mate. The battle, fought in 1811 in Indiana, destroyed the Indian confederacy organized by Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief, and his brother, Tenskwatawa, known as the Prophet.


54°40  OR FIGHT!!  A Democratic rallying cry in the 1844 presidential campaign, referring to the dispute over whether the United States or Great Britain owned the Pacific Northwest, which had been under joint control since 1818. American expansionists, led by the Democratic presidential candidate, James K. Polk, demanded that the United





John Tyler’s crisscrossing of the political aisle put him in a strange position during the 1844 presidential election. As vice presidential candidate with Whig William Henry Harrison, Tyler was a more polished politician than the heroic Harrison. However, when Harrison died one month into his term of office, Tyler showed his true political colors. Tyler’s use of the veto to strike down Whig legislation and his repeated offers to Democrats to aid on their legislative agenda ensured that he would not be nominated on his own right in the 1844 Whig convention. However, it did leave him in the unique position of switching parties and being nominated as a Democratic candidate. But the Democrats were also wary of Tyler, whose love of political expediency may trump any chance they had at ruling again in the White House.

The favorite heading into the nominating convention of 1844 was former president Martin Van Buren, whose opportunistic personality led him to seek the presidency again. However, he fell victim to the 2/3 rule, which dictated that a candidate receive two thirds of the party delegates for nomination. Tyler’s candidacy became moot when Van Buren and others decided to throw their support behind the unlikely candidate, Tennessean James Polk. The southern and western delegates, who were interested in Polk’s perspective on western expansion, swept Polk to the Democratic nomination. On the Whig side, without an incumbent candidate, the Whigs resorted to their increasingly ancient standard bearer, Kentucky politician Henry Clay, with New Jersey politician Theodore Frelinghuysen as his vice president






James K. Polk Lyrics
Artist: They Might Be Giants
Album: Factory Showroom

Polk Lyric Process.doc


In 1844, the Democrats were split
The three nominees for the presidential candidate
Were Martin Van Buren, a former president and an abolitionist
James Buchanan, a moderate
Louis Cass, a general and expansionist
From Nashville came a dark horse riding up
He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

Austere, severe, he held few people dear
His oratory filled his foes with fear
The factions soon agreed
He's just the man we need
To bring about victory
Fulfill our manifest destiny
And annex the land the Mexicans command
And when the votes were cast the winner was
Mister James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump

In four short years he met his every goal
He seized the whole southwest from Mexico
Made sure the tarriffs fell
And made the English sell the Oregon territory
He built an independent treasury
Having done all this he sought no second term
But precious few have mourned the passing of
Mister James K. Polk, our eleventh president
Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump

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