1 minute reading time (199 words)

Presidents 11-12 - American History Lesson #5

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See Lesson #4 here.

James Knox Polk (1845-1849)

The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk was considered the "dark horse" President. In 1844, he was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination for Vice President. He stood for expansion and was "committed to the Nation's Manifest Destiny." During his presidency, he worked on the acquisition of California, which became a state in 1850. The acquisition of land in the US during his presidency sparked a quarrel between the North and South over expansion of slavery.

Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)

The 12th president, Zachary Taylor, was the second president to die in office. During his presidency, Northerners and Southerners were in strong disagreement on whether territories from Mexico should be opened to slavery. Taylor subscribed to Whig party ideals. To end the dispute over slavery expansion, he urged California and New Mexico settlers to draft constitutions and apply for statehood. This maddened Southerners and the settlers would likely not permit slavery, and congress felt that Taylor was usurping their policy-making rights. Southern leaders threatened a secession. Taylor responded that if a war was needed to enforce laws, he would he personally would lead the Army.


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Monday, 17 June 2024

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