Essay on James Knox Polk, the 11th US President

James Knox Polk was the eleventh president of the United States, serving from 1845 to 1849. He was also the youngest president elected at the time, being forty-nine years old on his inauguration day (Seigenthaler 11). James K. Polk accomplished many things before and throughout his U.S. presidency.

Polk was born on November 2nd, 1795 near Pineville, North Carolina (Haynes). In his family, he was the oldest of ten children in a Scottish-Irish family (Presidential Administration Profiles). When Polk was ten years old, he moved to Tennessee. The journey caused him health problems throughout his life. He didn’t attend school until he moved to Tennessee, but was advanced in reading, writing, and arithmetic.(Miller Center). Polk studied at Zion Church in Maury for a year, then joined the Murfreesboro Academy. He entered the Sophomore class of the University of North Carolina in 1815, then graduated at the top of his class in 1818 (Haynes). 

James K. Polk started his career in government as a lawyer (Scholastic GO), but then had many other positions before his Presidency. In 1821, he became the Chief Clerk of the Tennessee Senate (Haynes). In 1823, Polk was elected into the Tennessee House of Representatives (Miller Center)  and was a Speaker of the House from 1835-1839 (Scholastic GO). He left the house to become Tennessee’s governor in 1839 (Miller Center). Polk tried to improve the state’s school system and lower taxes. His term ended in 1843 when he was not reelected for a second term (Scholastic GO). Polk did not have any military experience, but he had many parts in government before his presidency.

James K. Polk was the eleventh president of the United States whose term lasted from 1845 to 1849. He was part of the democratic party (Haynes). Some of his accomplishments include reducing taxes on imported goods and creating a bank to handle federal funds. In 1846, Polk signed the Oregon Treaty, which took the rest of Oregon territory from Britain (Scholastic GO). The United States fought Mexico in the Mexican War over Texas in 1846 (Haynes). It was nicknamed, “Mr. Polk’s War” and resulted in an American Victory and the accumulation of Texas Territory (Presidential Administration Profiles). Once Polk’s first term was over he decided not to run again. 

Polk accomplished many things throughout his career. He was a Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives, the Governor of Tennessee, and the President of the United States. As the eleventh president, he gained the territory of Oregon by signing the Oregon treaty and the territory of Texas by defeating Mexico in the Mexican War. In conclusion, James Knox Polk accomplished several achievements throughout his career in government.



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