James K. Polk

" No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure."


March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849

Vice President

George Dallas



Election Opponents

Henry Clay

America At This Time

  • Texas is admitted as a slave state, making it the twenty-eighth state in the Union. December 29, 1845
  • The great Irish potato famine forces huge waves of starving immigrants to the United States, sparking anti-Catholic, nativist backlashes. 1845 - 1901
  • Congress declares war on Mexico after American troops, under General Zachary Taylor, clash with Mexican troops on the north bank of the Rio Grande. May 13, 1846
  • Iowa is admitted as a free state, making it the twenty-ninth state in the Union. December 28, 1846

Key People of the Presidency

  • George Dallas 1845–1849
  • Secretary of State- James Buchanan 1845-1849
  • Secretary of Treasury- Robert J. Walker 1845–1849
  • Secretary of War- William L. Marcy 1845–1849
  • Attorney General- John Y. Mason 1845-1846, Nathan Clifford 1846-1848, Isaac Toucey 1848-1849

Economic Policies

  • Reestablish the Independent Treasury System.
  • Reduce tariffs.
  • Acquire some or all of Oregon Country.
  • Acquire California and New Mexico from Mexico.

Foreign Policies

  • He strongly supported expansion.
  • Polk supported the annexation of Texas.
  • He sought to acquire the the Oregon Country.

Domestic Policies

He made internal improvements and restored the independent treasury.