Election of 1844

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During the U.S. Presidential Election of 1844, westward expansion was the major campaign issue for Democrat James K. Polk and Whig Henry Clay. Polk championed expansion on all fronts, making his rallying cry “54° 40’ or fight!” Polk considered his electoral victory to be a mandate in support of Manifest Destiny, and he quickly took actions to foment war with Mexico in order to secure the Mexican territories of California and New Mexico.