Who Is James K. Polk: Boss Or Bully?

784 Words4 Pages

Sandy Ly
Mr. Graham
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

Show More
Open Document