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President James K Polk

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President James K Polk
12031 Lancaster Highway
Pineville, North Carolina 28134
Voice: 704-889-7145

Our eleventh president was born on November 2, 1795 in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. As a young child, he moved with his family to Tennessee. He did not begin any education until 1813, when he was 18 years old. In 1816, he attended the University of North Carolina and graduated with honors in 1818. He decided to enter politics.

Polk focused on politics for the majority of his life. He became a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1823, until 1825 when he moved up into the U.S. House of Representatives. After ten years of serving he became itís speaker. In 1839, James Polk became the Governor of Tennessee.

In 1844, Polk became the presidential nominee for the Democratic Party. The campaign centered mostly on the topic of the annexation of Texas. On this subject, Polk supported the idea and his opposition, Henry Clay, was against it. Polk won the election by 50% popular vote and 170 out of 275 electoral votes.

During his presidency, James Polk fixed the boundary dispute between the U.S. and Canada. At the end of John Tylerís term, before Polk took office, the annexation of Texas took place, and it put a strain on the relation between the U.S. and Mexico. The boundary dispute between the countries raged as well. Polk knew that this would only lead to war, and prepared troops. The Declaration of War on Mexico was sent in April 1846.

In the beginning of 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to end the war and the border was set at the Rio Grande. This gained the U.S. over 500,000 square miles of territory, which they agreed to pay Mexico $15 million for.

James Polk decided not to pursue a second term. He retired after leaving the presidency and died from a possible Cholera infection.



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