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By Walter R. Borneman

In Polk, Walter R. Borneman supplies us the 1st entire and authoritative biography of a president usually overshadowed in picture yet seldom outdone in accomplishment. James ok. Polk occupied the White condominium for less than 4 years, from 1845 to 1849, yet he plotted and attained an impressive schedule: He fought for and gained tariff discount rates, reestablished an autonomous Treasury, and, so much particularly, introduced Texas into the Union, bluffed nice Britain out of the lion’s percentage of Oregon, and wrested California and masses of the Southwest from Mexico. looking back, those successes look much more outstanding, given the contentious political setting of the time.

In this remarkable, long-overdue warts-and-all examine Polk’s lifestyles and profession, now we have a portrait of an expansionist president and decisive statesman who redefined the rustic he led, and we're reminded anew of the genuine that means of presidential accomplishment and get to the bottom of.

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S. Senate voted at the Texas annexation treaty that Secretary of nation Upshur—before his premature demise at the Princeton —had so expectantly guaranteed Sam Houston could cross the Senate by way of the mandatory two-thirds. Even previous Hickory suggestion that Clay might “order his majority within the Senate to ratify the Texas treaty to rid him of the query. ” That, without doubt, might were the politically astute factor to do, yet others doubted that Clay's political judgment may well override his ego. “Clay is highly pleased with his evaluations, and all his neighbors are committed,” stated one in every of Polk's longtime associates, very best courtroom Justice John Catron, at the day of the vote. “They too were handled as boys, and won't be willingly absurd, until he recants first. ” Clay didn't recant, and twenty-eight of twenty-nine Whig senators have been joined by means of seven Van Buren Democrats to reject the treaty 35–16. Texas remained tenuously self reliant. Sam Houston good remembered the Van Buren administration's curt “no” to the formal request by way of Texas for annexation in 1837. again within the days of Upshur's assurances, Houston had written previous Hickory that Texas used to be back “a bride decorated for her espousals. [If] she may be rejected,” Houston confessed, “her mortification will be indescribable. ” Now Texas and Sam Houston were scorned, not only as soon as yet two times. 6 there has been, although, one guy within the usa govt who sought after the annexation of Texas up to Andrew Jackson or James Polk. His identify was once John Tyler, and although abandoned on virtually each aspect, he used to be nonetheless president of the us. And, a lot to the chagrin of the Polk camp, he used to be nonetheless a great deal a declared candidate for reelection. Tyler's rump Baltimore conference of office-holding loyalists had formally placed his identify within the race, and Tyler electoral slates have been being fixed around the state. particularly, his distinct operating mate used to be “Old Tecumseh” himself, Richard Mentor Johnson, who appeared decided to snatch a sliver of nationwide limelight irrespective of how absurd the situations or how with out vanity. It wasn't that Tyler held out a lot probability of profitable. yet so long as he stayed within the race, Texas remained on the vanguard, and the block of stalwart supporters that he did control—by one estimate 150,000—might come to a decision the end result. Tyler sought after Texas, yet he additionally sought after a few degree of coverage that those electorate, a lot of whom had abandoned the Democrats to vote for Tippecanoe and Tyler, too, in 1840, will be welcomed again into celebration ranks and into the favors of Democratic patronage. in some way, Tyler needed to be confident to withdraw and throw his aid to Polk. yet how was once this to be complete? Polk and his lieutenants quick got here to the belief that there has been just one guy “in the rustic, who can impression it. ” That guy used to be loss of life, yet he had already pledged his lifestyles to place Sarah Polk within the White residence. “I think normal Jackson,” Sarah's husband pleaded with Andrew Jackson Donelson, “is the single guy within the kingdom whose suggestion Mr.

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