American History; Period 5
14 December 2015
James K. Polk: Boss or Bully? When one talks about the United States presidents and what they did for our country, usually words of positivity will be the first thoughts to come to most minds about the respectable head of our country and all of our former leaders. James K. Polk was the 11th president of the United States and he brought the country into war against Mexico in order to expand the nation. From this fact alone, many people would think that he did well to claim more land for our country. After all, it was the time of Manifest Destiny which was when Americans believed that they needed to expand the country westward to share ideas of liberty and religion while making …show more content…
He wanted to expand the country and he would do it any way that he could, though wanting to avoid war as much as he could as seen when he split the territory known as Oregon between Britain and America. Claiming the land disputed between Mexico and America was different however. Polk offered to pay for the land which is quite puzzling since from his point of view, America already owned the land which causes us to question why he did so. In America’s perspective, that wasn’t necessary since apparently the land was already rightfully a part of the nation so he didn’t have the need to buy it from Mexico. Did he feel that Mexico really did own the land since he was paying them for it? If so, he technically did take the land unrightfully which makes the whole deed feel unjust. Either way, the president of Mexico at the time, Jose Joaquin Herrera refused to meet with the envoy that Polk sent, John Slidell. That infuriated Polk since Mexico did not accept the money. He was going to take it a step up with force, but first he needed to get the people of America on his side of …show more content…
His plan? He definitely wanted to start a war with Mexico, but he didn’t want to be in the wrong. He wanted someone else to blame so why not Mexico themselves? Polk was a smart manipulator. He planned to get his men into the land knowing that Mexico wouldn’t take the United States entering disputed lands very lightly. He was right. Mexico was the first one to shoot, only doing what noble citizens would do when defending their land and property. Polk, seeing that they fell into his trap, used that fact to his advantage, claiming that Mexico was attacking them first and that the United States had a duty to go and claim the land as America’s. Polk was on a streak because he was right again; the majority of the United States had voted in favor of war. Moreover, knowing that he would need to recruit army troops, Polk was convinced by Congress to enlist at least 50,000 volunteers. He instead had 73,000 people enlist. This proved that Americans had also fallen for his plan of waging war. Not only this, but they were poorly trained in any battle strategy or war tactics. Officers would even go as far as to joke or complain about these enlisted volunteers, though they knew that the people had no previous military
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During Polk’s regime, the ambitious, new leader focused on adding the Oregon country, taking California along with New Mexico from Mexico, and cutting taxes. By the time Polk had been inaugurated, Texas had already fallen into American hands; therefore, Polk prioritized the securement of the Oregon Territory. Polk was playing a dangerous game; if he tried to take the territory from Britain, war would be inevitable and many lives would be unnecessarily cost. Being the daunting character he was, Polk did not back down from a fight. However, his attention was divided because Mexican relations with the U.S. were degrading.
James Knox Polk was born November 2, 1795, in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. Polk was most known for successfully defeating the Mexicans in the Mexican War. Polk was also the 11th president of the United States. When Polk was young, he lived in North Carolina with his father, Samuel Polk, and his mother, Jane Polk. James was the oldest of his nine siblings.
James K. Polk had four goals when he campaigned for the Presidential Election of 1844. His plan was to reduce tariffs, take California and New Mexico from Mexico, acquire the Oregon County, and to reestablish the Independent Treasury System. Also, he wanted to do it in only one term. Once he won his one term, he proceeded to fulfill of four of his goals, and promptly died as soon as he left office, most likely from sheer exhaustion.
As a Democrat, I believe that President Polk was justified in starting the Mexican-American War. Also, as a strong supporter of Manifest Destiny, also known as Western expansion, I furthermore find reason to believe Polk was justified in initiating war with the Mexican people; being that the Mexican government refused peaceful negotiation. The Americans were the just owners of this western land, and we intended to get it. The Mexican government refused a meeting with our representative to establish the border between Texas and Mexico, along with an offer of 30 million dollars for Western territory. These western territories would provide substantial economic growth for the United States, as well as the obvious: making our nation larger as
James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse by Sam W. Haynes Haynes’ biography of James K. Polk is a little bit different from the traditional biographical book with enumeration of important dates from life of historical figure. Instead the author takes different approach: while recounting development of Polk’s career, he looks at the Polk’s presidency through the lens of expansionism. Though he frames the 11th President as a strong adherent of aggressive territorial expansionism, Haynes also emphasises that Polk’s decisions cannot be separated from the political and social climate of his time. The author renders Polk from one side as the initiator of expansionists political moves, and from the other, as a product of contemporary social beliefs,
Exemplified in John O’Sullivan’s concept of Manifest Destiny, President Polk believed that it was America’s duty to spread American Exceptionalism throughout the entire North American continent. Resultantly, Polk sought to acquire California through peaceful methods at first, and later through more deceptive means. Ultimately, Polk moved troops to a disputed region between the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers in order to provoke a war with Mexico, consequently expediting America’s Manifest Destiny. A justifiable war is one which is undertaken for defensive purposes only, and although misguided by the nationalistic, expansionist precepts of Manifest Destiny, and although he first attempted to acquire southwestern territory peacefully, President Polk failed to satisfy this burden, instead choosing to sacrifice “American blood” for the offensive expansion of his
Secondly, President Polk was the president of the United States during the Mexican American war and he believed that Mexico invaded part of Texas that belong to the U.S and killed American’s on American soil. He also doesn’t feel sorry for them, Polk says, "As war exists, and notwithstanding all our efforts to avoid it, exists by the act of Mexico
Mexico desired that the United States relocate to their territory, but because the US did not follow these rules, Mexican officials became enraged and kicked them out. The third and final reason is that Polk provoked Mexico. He was a strong believer in Manifest Destiny. He believed that God planned to kick out Mexicans and let the USA grow more. He stole Texas from Mexico (Doc. B).
The major conflict of President James Polk's term was the Mexican War that began during his presidency on 1846, and ended in 1848. May 13, 1846 is when congress officially declared war on Mexico, but previously to the U.S. declaring war the United States had already won two battles. This war was popular among young men and men, many people wanted to enlist in the army that recruiting stations had to turn away a large amount of people. During the war president James Polk sent a diplomat by the name of Nicholas Trist to try and settle peace with the Mexicans, but had an unsuccessful arrangement with Santa Anna president of Mexico. Therefore the war continued but ended shortly after when the United States won the battle of Mexico
In Document B, President Polk said, “I had ordered and efficient military force to take a position...to meet a threatened invasion of Texas by the Mexican forces….invasion was threatened solely because Texas had determined….to annex herself to our Union,... it was plainly our duty to extend our protection over her citizens and soil.” President Polk then mentioned the attack at the Rio del Norte, where the invasion in Texas happened. This evidence shows the US was justified in going to war with Mexico because Texas was invaded by Mexico, meaning that the U.S. should protect Texas by fighting
borders...armed with the and the rifle, and marking its trail with schools and colleges, courts and representative halls, mills and meeting- houses” (O’Sullivan 323). Polk also somewhat wanted Texas, but the land he was really after was California. This evidence shows that if the US won Texas then Texas could help them win over California. US also keeps on saying the Mexico is not powerful and has very little authority. (O 'Sullivan 323)
Gun shots were heard as U.S. troops and Mexican troops fought. As a result, James Polk, the president of the United States at the time, declared war on Mexico. The U.S. was not justified into going into war with Mexico because the Annexation of Texas and California was unofficial, Texas unfairly changed its borders after winning its
Americans were outraged over the border dispute at the Nueces and the Rio Grande rivers, and Mexicans were irate with America’s annexation of Texas. President James K. Polk availed in the atmosphere of animosity, hurrying to place troops on conflicted land. On May 9, 1846, he found his cause for war. Mexican and American troops had engaged in combat on April 24, which led American blood spilt on contended soil. However, through all their fighting spirit, the Americans faithfully ignored their own mistreatment of the Mexicans.