James K. Polk
11th President of the United States
James Polk was born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on November 2nd, 1975. He was born to Jane and Samuel Polk and had five brothers and four sisters. He was raised as a Presbyterian, yet converted to a Methodist at age 38. He married Sarah Polk, and never raised a family. James K Polk died on June 15th, 1949, just 3 months after his term as president due to cholera.
Polk's career before his presidency gave him much experience as a politician. he served as the 17th Speaker of the House from 1835 to 1839 and as Governor of Tennessee from 1839 to 1841. Both of these jobs gave him support from the Democratic party and ensured that his name was out and known.
Polk's presidency was one filled with success when it came to dealing with foreign policies. He gained half ownership over the Oregon county that was originally controlled by Britain. He also swept Mexico in the Mexican- American War, gaining the majority of the present American Southwest. He also secured the Walker Tariff, cutting the extremely high tariff rates formerly established by the Whigs. He was also known for smaller things such as issuing the postage stamps, groundbreaking the Washington Memorial, opening the U.S. Naval Academy and opening the Smithsonian Institution. Although, even James Polk can't be perfect. A few of the rather negative things Polk did would be that he distrusted paper money, favoring gold and silver. He also sent an ambassador to Spain to offer $100 million for the island, luckily his offer was declined. Polk was also opposed to the Electoral College, and unsuccessfully proposed that it be abolished.His cabinet consisted of James Buchanan (Secretary of State who later served as president), Robert J Walker (Secretary of Treasury), Cave Johnson (Postmaster General), George Bancroft and John Mason (split time as Secretary of the Navy, and John Mason, Nathan Clifford and Isaac Toucey (split time as Attorney General).
Popularity as President
James K Polk was the dark horse of the 1844 election, yet managed to win on his promise to secure Texas for the US. He was widely regarded as the hardest working man Washington, and his opponents envied him for all that he was able to accomplish. Even nowadays, Polk is considered one of, if not the, best president to have served the United States.
Eligilbilty as Today's President
James Polk would not be able to be president today for one major reason, he would be way to outdated. He held slaves all throughout his presidency, today's society would seem completely backwards to him and he would not be able to adjust. The fact that we are now helping Mexico in drug wars and aim to help them as a country would seem wrong to him, given he lead us to victory in a war against them. All of the relationships he had with other countries are different today. Simply put, he just would not be able to comprehend and work in today's world, regardless of how hard he can work.