A Country of Vast Designs - James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent-logo

A Country of Vast Designs - James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

Robert W. Merry

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Description:

When James K. Polk was elected president in 1844, the United States was locked in a bitter diplomatic struggle with Britain over the rich lands of the Oregon Territory, which included what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Texas, not yet part of the Union, was threatened by a more powerful Mexico. And the territories north and west of Texas-what would become California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and part of Colorado-belonged to Mexico. When Polk relinquished office four years later, the country had grown by more than a third as all these lands were added. The continental United States as we know it today was established-facing two oceans and positioned to dominate both. In a one-term presidency, Polk completed the story of America's Manifest Destiny-extending its territory across the continent, from sea to sea, by threatening England and manufacturing a controversial and unpopular two-year war with Mexico that Abraham Lincoln, in Congress at the time, opposed as preemptive. Robert W. Merry tells this story through powerful debates and towering figures-the outgoing President John Tyler and Polk's great mentor, Andrew Jackson; his defeated Whig opponent, Henry Clay; two famous generals, Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott; Secretary of State James Buchanan (who would precede Lincoln as president); Senate giants Thomas Hart Benton and Lewis Cass; Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun; and ex-president Martin Van Buren, like Polk a Jackson protégé but now a Polk rival. This was a time of tremendous clashing forces. A surging antislavery sentiment was at the center of the territorial fight. The struggle between a slave-owning South and an opposing North was leading inexorably to Civil War. In a gripping narrative, Merry illuminates a crucial epoch in U.S. history.

Language:

English

Narrators:

Michael Prichard

Length:

19h


Chapters

Free Sample

05:00

Introduction
Introduction

26:59


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

46:25


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

44:51


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

40:08


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

40:22


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

35:50


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

38:38


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

47:39


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

34:47


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

37:44


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

34:33


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

35:56


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

35:05


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

40:20


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

36:39


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

33:47


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

36:12


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

22:41


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

35:25


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

33:35


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

34:49


Chapter 21
Chapter 21

28:56


Chapter 22
Chapter 22

36:18


Chapter 23
Chapter 23

34:46


Chapter 24
Chapter 24

39:51


Chapter 25
Chapter 25

46:26


Chapter 26
Chapter 26

37:35


Chapter 27
Chapter 27

42:24


Chapter 28
Chapter 28

38:14


Chapter 29
Chapter 29

46:00


Chapter 30
Chapter 30

16:56


Chapter 31
Chapter 31

00:28