Host: The Heritage Foundation. When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful Mexico. When Polk relinquished office four years later, the country had grown by more than a third. The continental United States, as we know it today, was established—facing two oceans and positioned to dominate both. It was a time of tremendous clashing forces. A surging anti-slavery sentiment was at the center of the territorial fight. The struggle between a slave-owning South and an opposing North was leading inexorably to Civil War. In A Country of Vast Designs, Robert Merry examines Polk’s one-term presidency and the controversies of the era—a crucial epoch in U.S. history.
Added by insideronline on November 24, 2009