James K. Polk


Why is Polk considered a great president?

Polk is considered by many historians to be a great president because he had several major accomplishments in his one term in office. In fact, Polk’s secretary of the navy, George Bancroft, an esteemed historian, said that Polk articulated four major goals upon assuming office: (1) lower the tariffs; (2) create an independent treasury; (3) annex Oregon to the United States; and (4) obtain California from Mexico.

Polk accomplished all four of these major objectives. Twentieth-century president Harry Truman said of Polk: “He said exactly what he was going to do and he did it.”

The Polk residents in Columbia, Tennessee.


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