Before his presidency Polk served as the Speaker of the House through 1835 – 1839 and after that he served as the governor of Tennessee. Throughout his time running for different offices he thought Andrew Jackson was a great role model and loved what he did as president. When Polk came to be the president he wanted to run it like Andrew Jackson and he sort of did. Mostly Polk was known for his expansions of territories such as Texas, and Oregon but also he can be remembered for starting the Mexican-American war which didn’t make him a great person. Polk will be remembered for numerous things, such as him being an underdog and pretty much the entire world believed he had no chance of winning. Overall Polk did numerous things to jumpstart his legacy in good and bad ways and help sustain how he’s seen today. Before Polk ran for office he had numerous ways of gaining experience with being a governor and with being speaker of the House of Representatives. But people didn’t believe in Polk, which is why he was a dark horse candidate when he ran for president. During the election James K. Polk was the democratic nominee facing up against Henry Clay of the Whigs party. Until Polk told the voters of his intentions that is when everyone believed in him and his campaign. He told the public that he would get all of Texas and Oregon annexed and that is when all of the votes came in to Polk. He stated this because he thought Britain or Mexico didn’t want war and that it would be quite easy to annex both of those counties. So Polk’s story was pretty good for him coming to power, with the Democratic Party not believing in him and with the whole world viewing him as an underdog. Overall Polk came to power with a promise of annexation and with the trust of the public. During Polk’s Presidency the powers of the presidency were expanded in a bad way which was when he pushed war with Mexico. After Polk retired they made sure to keep the president’s power a little under the table so that a future president doesn’t go on to provoke war. Also after Polk signed The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to officially end the war with Mexico he learned that it doesn’t take much to start a war and that the president has a lot of power to get into foreign affairs and to start numerous wars. After the whole Mexican-American war the whole nation new that the president might’ve had too much power to decide when we go to a war. So after congress changed the rules a little bit and gave the president less power and room to work with. If Polk didn’t become president who knows what wars would’ve happened and how much power they would have had, if Polk didn’t test the powers that he had. Overall presidential powers were expanded during Polk’s time with how much power the president had and how easily they could provoke a war. Polk had a couple of successes when working with congress. When Polk was elected he promised to annex Texas as well as Oregon and he worked with congress to have that happen. He couldn’t do it by himself so congress helped him achieve this goal over time. He used congress to achieve success and get a little bit more trust out of his fans and the people that despised him. Another way he achieved success while in office was with cutting tariffs which congress helped him come to a decision with that. Also he helped establish an independent treasury which helped with the economy. Overall Polk was with congress to make many decisions but one of his best was expanding out west. After he worked with congress Polk had many interesting policy’s one of his most known policies would be his interests with foreign policies. His main promise was to expand to the west which was nice but came with some bad intentions. Some of the negatives that people were bringing up were how would slaves work with more land, and how much would the tariffs would be after an expansion that big. With these questions rising a lot of people were in doubt, that is when he passed a new bill to include the specifics of tariffs. This new policy was a liked one which included lowering the prices of imports and dropped percents of the value. A downfall of his policies is when he waged war for land, which the public didn’t prefer or like. It worked in his favor at the end of the war. But throughout the process he lost a lot of support and went down on the public approval rate. After all that, he had better policies than negative ones and people will remember him for his foreign policies as well as his tariff, and slave policies. As stated before is foreign policy was a plus and a downside which is one of his biggest controversial issues. While the Mexican-American war was underway he received a lot of scrutiny from his opponents, which were the Whigs. They were calling him an imperialist and said he was running the nation like it. Historians later said they think the pressure that he received killed him three months later after his presidency. Another big scandal was when we went to war because everyone thought he started the war, which he denied when the public asked specifics. This was a big controversy because he just sent U.S. soldiers into Mexico without even knowing if he could or if he had the power to. So he did that and congress declared war and war started which makes it look like Polk started the war. Overall Polk made some questionable decisions that turned out to be his greatest controversies and flaws. The biggest issue for Polk with national security was “Manifest Destiny” because that phrase made Polk want to expand out west and by doing this it got him into trouble with Mexico and Britain by trying to steal or take their land. When he tried to negotiate terms with them it made them angry and eventually led us to a war with Mexico. His biggest issue was trying to execute something to fast because it got U.S. soldiers killed in a battle over a river and thus the war began.