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James K. Polk

Presidency

What was Polk’s relationship with his generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott?

Polk did not get along with either Zachary Taylor or Winfield Scott. The source of the animus appears to be political. Taylor and Scott were Whigs, while Polk was a die-hard Democrat. Polk suspected that the two men—who were considered heroes for their military successes—held presidential ambitions. On this point, Polk proved correct, as Taylor became the twelfth president of the United States and Scott became the Whig candidate for the presidency in 1852.



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