James Knox Polk was the last US President before the Civil War broke out. Born in the year 1795 James Polk was a resident of the Mecklenburg County. He was a studious child and he graduated from the University of North Carolina.
An enterprising lawyer, James Polk also assumed the offices of the Tennessee legislature, Speaker of the House, governor of Tennessee and finally became the eleventh US President.
the first-ever Public office that James Polk held was that of chief clerk of the Senate of Tennessee, but he resigned from it in order to campaign for the state legislature. John Polk’s powerful oration earned him victory and fame in his political contests. In the year 1824, when Andrew Jackson stood for the post of President, James Polk contested for the post of the House of Representatives. In the 1844 Presidential Election, the Democratic Party candidate James Polk emerged as a winner over the Whig Party candidate Henry Clay.
James Polk assumed the President’s office in the year 1845 and was the youngest President of the time. He carried on with his responsibility as US President till 1849. James Polk had clear administrative policies that included the re-establishment of the Independent Treasury System, the purchase of California from Mexico, the reduction of tariffs and acquisition of some or all of Oregon, as a way to end the protracted boundary dispute.
the tariff reduction was made into effect when the Walker Tariff was approved by the Congress in 1846. the free trade was introduced in US following this approval. This action made James Polk a popular leader in the West and South of US. After the law regarding the restoration of the Independent Treasury System was passed in 1846, the Government funds were received in the treasury deposit offices. these offices were totally independent of the state or private banks. these policies helped considerably in the stability of US economy.
|Full Name:||James Knox Polk|
|Date of Birth:||November 2, 1795, Pineville, North Carolina|
|Died on:||June 15, 1849, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Burial site:||State Capitol Grounds, Nashville, Tennessee|
|Parents:||Samuel and Jane Knox Polk|
|Spouse:||Sarah Childress (1803-1891; m. 1824)|
|Education:||University of North Carolina (B.A., 1818)|
|Government ranks:||Tennessee state representative and governor; U.S. Representative from Tennessee; Speaker of the House|
|President Term:||March 4, 1845-March 4, 1849|
|Age when assumed office:||49|
Outcome of the Elections
|1844||Presidential / Vice Presidential Candidates||Popular votes||Electoral votes|
|James K. Polk / George M. Dallas (Democratic)||1337243||170|
|Henry Clay / Theodore Frelighuysen (Whig)||1299062||105|
Snapshot of James Polk’s life
|1795||Born in North Carolina|
|1818||Graduates from the University of North Carolina|
|1823-25||Serves in the Tennessee House of Representatives|
|1825-39||Serves in the U.S. House of Representatives|
|1835-39||Serves as Speaker of the House|
|1839||Elected governor of Tennessee|
|1841||Fails to win reelection as governor and loses 1843 gubernatorial election as well|
|1844||Emerges during the democratic national convention as the first “dark-horse” candidate for president; wins the election, primarily for his support of the annexation of Texas and expansionist sentiments|
|1845-49||Serves as eleventh U.S. President|
|1849||Dies in Tennessee|
Presidential Term and its details
|Dates:||March 4, 1845-March 4, 1849|
|Vice President:||George Mifflin Dallas (1845-49)|
An adherent supporter of Andrew Jackson, James Polk achieved marked success in his foreign policy. James Polk was also committed to territorial expansion and for this purpose he also flouted the objections of the Whigs. He led the Mexican-American War to win nearly 1.2 square miles for US. Besides the new annexation, the Oregon Territory was also secured by James Polk’s foreign policies. the Mexican-American War was terminated with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
With the opening of the US Naval Academy and the issuing of the first postage stamps in the United States, James Polk was instrumental in bringing about a number of administrative and social changes during his reign as the American President.
After his retirement as the President, James Polk survived for only 103 days. Of all the US Presidents, James Polk records the shortest retirement at the age of 53.
A number of the famous quotations by James Polk are as follows :
- “No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure”.
- “Although… the Chief Magistrate must almost of necessity be chosen by a party and stand pledged to its principles and measures, yet in his official action he should not be the President of a party only, but of the whole people of the United States”.
- “Peace, plenty, and contentment reign throughout our borders, and our beloved country presents a sublime moral spectacle to the world”.