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James Knox Polk is the 11th president of the United States of America. During the years 1845-1849, he led the country through the Mexican-American War, established an Independent Treasury, acquired the Oregon Country, added much of the Southwestern States into the Union, and reduced tariffs that were impacting Americans' abilities to trade. His presidency was incredibly effective and lived up to virtually every plank on the Democratic platform. Some presidents have been able to claim "promises made, promises kept" but almost none have kept their promises quite as successfully as Polk.
It can be argued that Polk's presidency is one of the most effective to date. Although this is true, his successfulness may have come with a price for the nation. The issues of manifest destiny and slavery weigh as a heavy burden on his presidency to many modern historians. When it comes to these issues, much of what Polk believed to be building on and bettering the nation may have actually contributed to its tearing apart.
The Mexican American War was an early test for the ideals of Manifest Destiny and American expansion; what would happen...