James K. Polk


How did Polk obtain Oregon?

Polk refused to back down from the British and remained steadfast in his demands that the British drop claims to the Oregon territory. Polk allegedly told at least one member of Congress: “The only way to treat John Bull [a name for Great Britain] is to look him in the eye.” He acquired what is present-day Oregon, Washington, and part of Idaho. He obtained land up to the forty-ninth parallel, though not all the way to the “54–40” parallel that was desired by some in the “All Oregon” campaign.


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