Saturday, December 29, 2007

Eleventh President: James K. Polk - 0 comments

Although Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase gets a lot of credit, It was actually James K. Polk that added the most territory to the US. He was committed to America's so-called 'Manifest Destiny,' and secured just about everything west of the Louisiana Purchase during his term. This includes the Oregon Territory (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and parts of Montana and Wyoming) and southwestern territory acquired at the end of the successful Mexican-American war (California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and parts of New Mexico, Wyoming, and Colorado).

Tenth President: John Tyler - 0 comments

and Tyler too! When William Henry Harrison died in office, his Vice President John Tyler took over. This was the first time the country had made this transition, and there was quite a bit of debate on exactly how it should work. Congress argued that the VP should only be acting president, while Harrison's cabinet argued for full Presidential powers.

Tyler was a southerner at heart, and during the Civil War he threw his alliance with the Confederate States. He died during the war, which resulted in two curious bits of trivia.
1. Tyler was not officially mourned by the US.
2. Tyler was the only President to die on 'foreign soil' (his estate in Richmond, Virginia was considered part of the CSA).