U.S. President James K. Polk was a lawyer from North Carolina. He was elected as a Jacksonian Democrat and was the last strong pre-Civil War president. He ran on the platform of promising to invade and annex Texas. He threatened war with Britain over the issue of the Oregon Country, settling for split ownership of the region. James K. Polk led the nation into war with Mexico, which gave the U.S. most of the Southwest. He oversaw the first postage stamps in the U.S., the groundbreaking of the Washington Monument, and the opening of the Smithsonian and U.S. Naval Academy. He is considered one of the great presidents but has been called the “least known consequential president” of the United States.
There are three separate branches of government in the United States; the legislative, executive and the judicial. The president is the head of the executive branch, the elected head of state and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces. The executive branch is responsible for executing and enforcing federal law, appointing heads of all executive agencies and federal commissions. The president is responsible for promoting diplomacy with other nations, issuing executive orders, signing pardons and international treaties. When legislation is passed in Congress, the president has the power to sign or veto bills. The Constitution states that the president must be a natural born citizen of the U.S., at least 35 years old, and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Elections are held every four years and the president is limited to two, four-year terms.
The James K. Polk biographical history mug is part of our Presidential series. The biographical History Mugs were created to teach and inspire individuals to learn about our diverse and interesting history. The biographies were researched and written by history enthusiast, Robert Compton. He colorized most of the historic photos and images used on the mugs, which were originally black and white or sepia tone. The images and biographies are imprinted on mugs at his studio in rural Vermont.
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