President James K. Polk
I won the presidency by a close vote in 1844 and now I am president of the United States of America. I am a Democrat, and a believer in “Mani- fest Destiny.” It is God’s plan that the United States should spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In 1846, I ordered U.S. troops into an area that was claimed both by Texas and Mexico, historically occupied by Mexicans. I knew that it was a provo- cation. As I confided to my Secretary of the Navy: I want California to be part of the United States. It’s part of Mexico and the only way to get it away from them is war. As I’d expected, the Mexicans attacked and I convinced Congress to declare war against Mexico. Some of my opponents say that I want this war only because I own slaves and this is a war to extend slavery to Mexico. Nonsense. There is much more at stake than slavery. This is about defending America’s honor and our national interest.