'expansion' this essay compares and contrasts james k polk's expansion policies with those of thomas Jefferson. it also looks at the impact they both had on the expansion of the untited states.

Topics: United States, Manifest Destiny, Native Americans in the United States Pages: 3 (479 words) Published: January 4, 2003
Expansion

There were two presidents that did a great deal for our country in the area of expansion. These two

presidents are Thomas Jefferson and James K. Polk. Though they had completely different policies on

expansion and foreign affairs, both of them vastly expanded the country.

Jefferson was a believer in the Monroe Doctrine which basically said we will mind our own busi

ness. He was also a very firm believer in a strict interpretation of the constitution. He did not look to vastly

expand our country and when the opportunity presented itself he had a hard time making the right decision.

The United States was surrounded by European owned areas: England had Canada, Spain had Florida,

and France had Louisiana. Fearing a possible war Jefferson strengthened the army especially by Louisiana.

This act scared Napoleon, he was in a war with England and didn't even need the Louisiana Territory, so

fearing a war with the U.S. and needing money for his war with England he offered to sell the whole Louisi

ana Territory to us for very cheap. Jefferson not sure if the constitution justified the act of making this

purchase struggled with the decision. He decided he didn't have much of a choice and accepted Napoleons

offer. On the other hand, James K. Polk was a firm believer in Manifest Destiny, which was the belief that

the United States was predestined to control all of North America. When Polk ran in the 1844 election his

campaign slogan was 54-40 or fight. Though he never got that boundary he did get a lot more in different

parts of the country. After Texas revolted from Mexico Polk was easy to convince that the U.S. should

step in and take Texas from Mexico. Though he wanted Texas he felt that the greatest prize would be

California. After Mexico repeatedly declined Polk's offers to buy Mexico and California Polk sent an army

to the Rio Grande. This action led to the Mexican War. Polk pushed and pushed for Texas...
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