James polk and the brothers power struggle - James K. Polk Home

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During Polk’s term of office, the United States acquired more than 800,000 square miles of western territory and extended its boundary to the Pacific Ocean. True to his campaign pledge to serve only one term as President, Polk left office and returned to Tennessee in March 1849. The nation’s expansionist aims had been realized. When he died of cholera three months later, thousands of Americans were rushing west in search of California gold. A man whose life had been shaped by his early years on the Tennessee frontier left a vast new frontier as his legacy.

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A few days before Van Buren's letter was published, Polk made his views known in response to an inquiry from a committee of Ohio Democrats. Like Jackson, he strongly favored the immediate annexation of Texas, arguing that Texas had been a part of the United States before John Quincy Adams had given it up to Spain in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. He feared, as did many Western Democrats, the rise of British influence in Texas and placed his argument in the broader context of hemispheric security. Unlike Jackson, Polk linked his demand for Texas with the demand that the authority and laws of the United States be also extended to the Oregon country.

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James Polk And The Brothers Power StruggleJames Polk And The Brothers Power StruggleJames Polk And The Brothers Power StruggleJames Polk And The Brothers Power Struggle