James Knox Polk

Short Paper
“James Knox Polk”
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Student ID #
Professor XXXX
HIST101 American History to 1877
March 06, 2011

    In 1844, a young lawyer born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, challenged the well-known Presidential Whig candidate Henry Clay.   Under the Democratic ticket and with the promise to actively encourage the United States westward expansion, the election of 1844 gave birth to our youngest president (at that time), and the last strong President until the Civil War.   Acting as the eleventh President of the United States, James Knox Polk expanded our boarders to the Pacific Ocean, joined three new States to the Union, and lowered taxes and numerous other recognizable achievements.
    The son of a farmer and surveyor, James Knox Polk was born on November 2, 1795.   At the age of ten, he and his family moved across the Appalachian Mountains to the Tennessee frontier.   Learning the resourcefulness and work ethic of the frontiersmen, but lacking the physical stamina, James Polk pursued his education with enthusiasm.   He attended formal schooling in Tennessee for two and a half years and then transferred to the University of North Carolina, where he graduated with top honors in mathematics.
    During his college studies, James Polk developed an interest in law and government.   After graduation, he returned to Tennessee to begin legal training under the renowned trial attorney Felix Grundy.   James Polk’s ambition and diligent work ethic under Mr. Grundy quickly paid off and he opened his own legal practice in Columbus, Tennessee.
    Pleased with his successful life, and his desire to excel, James Polk focused his sights on politics.   At the age of twenty-seven, James Polk became a Tennessee Legislature.   Then at the age of twenty-nine, he was elected to the United States Congress.   He served fourteen years as a Congressman, and during this period, he served two terms as Speaker of the House.   James Polk kept close political interest in...