The Election Of 1844 Pitted James Polk

1394 Words Nov 25th, 2014 6 Pages
The election of 1844 pitted James Polk, a Democrat expansionist, against Whig leader Henry Clay. One of Polk’s slogan was called, 54°40 or Flight, which supported pushing foreign troops past that latitude and out of the Oregon Territory. Fundamentally, that was jointly administered by the United States and British in Canada. Polk’s supporters also wanted the immediate annexation of Texas as well as expansion into the Mexican-claimed territories of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Clay, too, favored expansion, but at a slower rate. He also hoped to avoid war by negotiating with Mexico and Britain for the land America wanted. The election was close, but in the end Polk won. In the last days of his administration, President Tyler proposed the annexation of Texas, arguing that Polk’s victory amounted to a mandate for annexation. The annexation vote was passed, the United States annexed Texas, and Mexico broke off diplomatic relations. Under these circumstances, war with Mexico seemed likely. Consequently, Polk conceded on demands for expansion deep into Canada and set about instead to negotiated a more reasonable American-Canadian border. The Oregon Treaty, signed with Great Britain in 1846, allowed the U.S. to acquire peacefully what is now Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Reasonably certain that war in the Northwest could be avoided, Polk concentrated on efforts to claim the Southwest from Mexico… He tried to buy the territory, and when that failed, he…

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