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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 ...

Polk, James Knox

Polk, James Knox (1795–1849)   Reference library

John H. Schroeder and Dani Holtz

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

..., James Knox ( 1795–1849 ), eleventh president of the United States ( 1845–1849 ). Born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, on 2 November 1795 , Polk moved to Tennessee with his family in 1806 and graduated from the University of North Carolina. Admitted to the bar in 1820 , Polk became an active Jacksonian Democrat, serving in Congress from 1825 to 1839 , as Speaker of the House from 1835 to 1839 , and as governor of Tennessee from 1839 to 1841 . During the 1844 presidential contest, the first election centered around foreign policy, Polk...

Polk, James Knox

Polk, James Knox   Reference library

Wayne Cutler

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Political and Legal History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics, Law, History of Law
Length:
743 words

..., James Knox ( 1795 – 1849 ), eleventh president of the United States . A Jacksonian Democrat and devotee of Thomas Jefferson ’s agrarian political ideology, Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina , and reared in Maury County, Tennessee. Graduating with honors from the University of North Carolina in 1818 , he first practiced law and in 1823 won election to the Tennessee legislature. He married Sarah Childress in 1824 . Elected to Congress in 1825 , he opposed President John Quincy Adams ’s domestic program of economic development...

Polk, James Knox

Polk, James Knox (1795–1849)   Reference library

The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002

..., James Knox ( 1795–1849 ) 11th president of the United States , born in North Carolinia . Polk, who moved to Tennessee as a child, was admitted to the bar in 1820 and quickly became active in politics, entering the state legislature in 1823 . In 1825 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he viewed slavery as an evil to be borne. He opposed high tariffs and supported only limited spending for internal improvements. Polk served as House Speaker for two terms ( 1835–39 ). To signal his opposition to the new Whig party, headed by ...

James Knox Polk

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 in 1845, and the ...
Monroe Doctrine

Monroe Doctrine  

Reference type:
Overview Page
A principle of US policy, originated by James Monroe (1758–1831), American Democratic Republican statesman, 5th President of the US 1817–25. The Monroe doctrine states that any intervention by ...
Gideon Johnson Pillow

Gideon Johnson Pillow  

(1806–78) Confederate army officer. Having befriended James K. Polk, a native of the same Tennessee region, he received a commission as brigadier general of volunteers from Polk after Polk's election ...
Battle of Mexico City

Battle of Mexico City  

The final campaign of the Mexican War, won by the United States on September 14, 1848. In early 1847, President James K. Polk and Gen. Winfield Scott planned to occupy ...
Thomas Leonidas Crittenden

Thomas Leonidas Crittenden  

(1819–93) Union army officer and lawyer, born in Russellville, Kentucky. As an aide to the staff of Gen. Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War (1846–48), Crittenden was selected to carry ...
Gideon Welles

Gideon Welles  

(1802–1878) U.S. politician and Secretary of the Navy. Born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on July 1, 1802, Gideon Welles attended the academy at Norwich, Vermont (now Norwich University). In the 1820s ...
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo  

A treaty signed in Guadalupe-Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, to end the Mexican War (1846–48). The United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million and assume $3 million in adjusted ...
George Bancroft

George Bancroft  

(1800–1891),Massachusetts statesman and scholar, while holding various government posts obtained material for his monumental History of the United States (1834–76). As secretary of navy under Polk, ...
Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott  

(1786–1866) Union army officer, born in Virginia. Scott was known as “Old Fuss and Feathers” because of his love of gaudy uniforms. After serving in a volunteer cavalry unit, Scott ...
Wilmot Proviso

Wilmot Proviso  

An amendment presented on August 8, 1846 by Democratic congressman David Wilmot and supported by northern congressmen to prohibit the establishment of slavery in any territories gained in the Mexican ...
John Charles Frémont

John Charles Frémont  

(1813–90)US explorer and politician. He was responsible for exploring several viable routes to the Pacific across the Rockies in the 1840s. He made an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1856, ...
James Buchanan

James Buchanan  

Reference type:
Overview Page
(1791–1868)US Democratic statesman, 15th President of the USA (1857–61). He consistently leaned towards the pro-slavery side in the developing dispute over slavery. Towards the end of his term the ...
Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson  

(1808–75)US politician; 17th President of the USA (1865–69). As the only southern senator to support the Union in the American Civil War he was appointed military governor of Tennessee. Having been ...
Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor  

(1784–1850)US Whig statesman, 12th President of the USA (1849–50). He became a national hero after his victories in the war with Mexico (1846–48). As President, he came into conflict with Congress ...
John Tyler

John Tyler  

(1790–1862)US Whig statesman, 10th President of the USA (1841–45). Successor to William Henry Harrison as President, he was noted for securing the annexation of Texas (1845). Throughout his political ...
Central America–US Relations

Central America–US Relations   Reference library

Evan D. McCormick

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Foreign Relations

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2021
Subject:
History, Social sciences
Length:
10,958 words

...empire. With the California Gold Rush underway in 1849 , US officials now looked southward to fund and control the most efficient route for shipping and travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Seeking to exclude the possibility of British control of such a route, the James K. Polk administration signed separate treaties for exclusive canal rights with Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and confronted the British over territorial control on the Miskito Coast of Nicaragua. 11 The Whig administration of Zachary Taylor sought to short-circuit the growing...

Buchanan, James

Buchanan, James (1791–1868)   Reference library

Joel H. Silbey

The Oxford Encyclopedia of American Military and Diplomatic History

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...James ( 1791–1868 ), fifteenth president of the United States, from 1857 to 1861 . Born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the son of a storekeeper and farmer, James Buchanan was a successful lawyer who soon turned to politics. Originally a Federalist, he became a Jacksonian Democrat, serving successively as a state legislator, congressman, minister to Russia ( 1832–1834 ), U.S. senator ( 1834–1845 ), secretary of state under James Knox Polk ( 1845–1849 ), and ambassador to Great Britain ( 1853–1856 ). Like other antebellum Democrats, Buchanan...

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