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James Knox Polk

(1795–1849) US Democratic statesman, 11th President of the USA (1845–49). His term of office resulted in major territorial additions to the USA: Texas was admitted to the Union ...

Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail   Reference library

David E. Conrad

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Social History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:

...often assisted the migrants as well.) By 1844 , with more than five thousand Americans in the Willamette valley, the Oregon question dominated U.S. politics. In that year’s presidential election, voters in effect risked war with Great Britain by selecting the Democrat James Knox Polk on a platform committed to acquiring Oregon . Supporters spread the slogan “Fifty-four forty or fight”: latitude 54°40′ north was the northern boundary of the territory, so the slogan conveyed a willingness to fight Great Britain to secure all of the jointly administered ...