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The Legacy of James Knox Polk

April 9, 2013

Is James Knox Polk one of America’s ten greatest Presidents?  Probably.  He did have a very successful single term.  Perhaps we can even say he was the most successful of all the one-term Presidents… and he did leave office willingly when things were still relatively good.

 

So,… is James Knox Polk one of America’s five greatest Presidents?  Probably not.  Why not? 

Maxim Armbruster, author of The Presidents of the United States and Their Administrations from Washington to Reagan, wrote: “The moral aspect of slavery did not trouble him as it did so many other Presidents.” (pp. 146-147)  This fact alone should make us see his administration as a mere stepping stone between presidential terms and not as a milestone on the path to the expansion of liberty.

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