James Polk 's A Wicked War

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During the mid-18th century United States, the thought of expansion permeated throughout all of the American household and government. Americans wanted to expand towards the Pacific to further their supply of land and profits. To fulfil the demands of the American expansionists, James Knox Polk was voted into presidency in 1845. Amy S. Greenberg’s book, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico highlights the era of war and expansion during Polk’s years in office; and through a critical lens, holds him accountable for his injustices in the Mexican American war. While James Polk is considered to be a controversial figure in American history, the true question lies in whether his policies made him a hero or villain to the American people, or perhaps some other kind of person entirely. Greenberg’s book’s opening starts with the history of her book’s title, “I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign,” a quote from Ulysses S. Grant, who at the time served as a soldier of the Mexican American War. This points to the obvious bias of Greenberg against the American invasion of Mexico. The anti-war theme is embedded within the rest of the book as many other giant figures of this era comes into play, with the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Henry clay. In the context of his presidency, initially the American

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