Lessons on American Presidents.
Ready-To-Print Handouts, MP3 & Online Quizzes - James K. Polk


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James Knox Polk was America’s President. He was born in North Carolina, in 1795. He was the of ten children. His father in slaves and was a farmer. Studious and industrious, Polk graduated with honors in 1818 from the University of North Carolina. As a lawyer he entered politics, in the Tennessee legislature, and became a friend of Andrew Jackson.

In the House of Representatives, Polk was a lieutenant of Jackson in his Bank war. He served as Speaker between 1835 and 1839, to become Governor of Tennessee. Polk became the Democratic for Vice President in 1844 after for the annexation of Texas and Oregon. He won the 1844 presidential to become the first “dark horse” president.

As President, Polk threatened war with Britain annexing Oregon. A treaty was in 1846 after the British settled for land north of the 49th parallel, which today is the Canada . Polk fought a war with Mexico between 1846 and 1848. American forces won repeated victories and New Mexico and California for the USA. Polk also tried to Cuba from Spain in 1848 but was unsuccessful.

Polk left office due to health in 1849. He had promised to serve only one . He oversaw the opening of the Smithsonian Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, and the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument. The first U.S. postage were also issued during his presidency. Historians call him America’s “ known consequential president”. He of cholera on June 15, 1849.

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