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James K. Polk

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Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics

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1. Polk was born in what North Carolina county?

2. Polk had an operation to remove what when he was fourteen?

3. Polk's parents raised him to believe in what form of government?

4. Polk attended what University?

5. Polk graduated where in his class in 1818?

6. After college, he studied law under which great Tennessee lawyer?

7. The Panic of 1819 was caused by what?

8. What was Polk's nickname when he ran for Congress the first time?

9. What "incident" rocked Washington soon after Polk's arrival?

10. William Henry Harrison's term of office lasted how long?

11. The Wilmot Proviso prohibited what?

12. Polk reasserted the Monroe Doctrine in regards to what area in 1848?

13. Polk died of what disease?

14. How long did Polk serve in Congress?

15. What was Polk's campaign slogan?

16. Andrew Jackson lost to whom in the 1824 presidential election?

17. Martin Van Buren and which politician both published letters in 1844 opposing the immediate annexation of Texas?

18. Whom did Martin Van Buren select as his vice-presidential running-mate in 1842?

19. What distinction did Polk have after been nominated for the presidency?

20. Before Polk reformed the postal service, who had been responsible for paying postage?

21. A faction of Tennessee Democrats wanted to run whom for president in 1836?

22. Polk opposed the Distribution Act because it did what?

23. The Mexican War began when Zachary Taylor army exchanged fire with what Mexican town?

24. What State Department official illegally signed the Mexican War peace treaty?

25. As one of his final tasks in office, Polk announced the discovery of gold in which new territory?

26. Polk served as chair of what committee in the House?

27. Who headed the Second Bank of the United States during its fight to be rechartered?

28. What was Polk's nickname?

29. What profession was Polk's father?

30. Polk courted Sarah Childress while he held what job?

31. Polk left his post as Speaker to run for what office?

32. How much did Polk pay for New Mexico and California?

33. Who was Polk's troublesome Secretary of State?

34. Polk prohibited his cabinet secretaries from doing what?

35. Polk ended the practice of handing out what to loyal Democratic supporters?

36. Who were the "The Immortal Thirteen"?

37. What war hero succeeded Polk in the presidency?

38. What famous frontiersman often argued against Polk in the House?

39. Clay's Distribution Act gave what to the states?

40. What financial tool did Martin Van Buren request? (Congress did not pass it until Polk's administration.)

41. Which president died after only a month in office?

42. Which president died only three months after leaving office?

43. What federal department did John Tyler ask Polk to head?

44. If John Tyler was the tenth president, what number was Polk?

45. Felix Grundy previously served as Chief Justice of which Supreme Court?

46. What 134-foot long object fell and killed a Polk supporter at a Maryland rally?

47. How much was Polk willing to pay for California and New Mexico?

48. Whom did Polk defeat to become Speaker of the House?

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