James K Polk – 11

James K. Polk was the 11th President of the United States of America. He served as President from 1845 to 1849.

He is famous for adding a large parcel of land to USA, greatly increasing the size of the Union and paving the way for the creation of many new states.

During his presidency, areas such as Texas, New Arizona, California and New Mexico became a part of USA. He also permanently settled border disputes between British Canada and USA.

When and where was he born?

James K. Polk was born in Mecklenburg, North Carolina on November 2, 1795.

Early Life

James K. Polk lived the early years of his life with his family in North Carolina. Later, he and his family moved to Tennessee where James K. Polk lived for a time.

James K. Polk later pursued his education at the University of North Carolina and graduated in 1818. He later decided to study law and became a lawyer in 1820. He also developed an interest in politics.

Life in Politics

Polk’s first major achievement came when he was elected to the Tennessee state legislature. He was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He continued to be a part of the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years and became one of the prominent politicians in the house.

In 1839, James K. Polk was appointed the Governor of Tennessee. As the Presidency of John Tyler drew to an end, James K. Polk ran for Presidency in 1844. He was successful in the election and became the 11th President of the United States of America.

Life as the President

A number of important events took place during the Presidency of James K. Polk. Most of this came about due to Polk’s dream of expanding the size of USA all the way to the Pacific Ocean in the west. To make this a reality, James K. Polk made Texas a part of USA.

This led to the Mexican-American War in which the American forces defeated the Mexican army and took control of many cities and towns in northern Mexico.

Mexico was finally forced to accept the status of Texas as a new state of USA. With success in this war, not only Texas but other territories such as California, New Mexico and New Arizona also became a part of USA.

Polk also settled the border dispute between USA and British Canada. He threatened Britain with war if Britain didn’t respect the 54-40 line to the south of Alaska as the boundary line between Canada and USA. After some negotiations, Britain agreed and this line became the permanent border between the two nations.

Later Life and Death

Unlike many other presidents before him, James K. Polk didn’t decide to run for a second term in the office. Even during a single term, he accomplished a lot by adding nearly 1.2 million squares miles of land to the total size of USA. Polk died only three months after the end of his term on June 15, 1849 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Learn more about President James K. Polk at Wikipedia