President Polk called for expansion that included Texas, California, and the entire Oregon territory. The northern boundary of Oregon was the latitude line of 54 degrees, 40 minutes. "Fifty-four forty or fight!" was the popular slogan that led Polk to victory against all odds.
What did the phrase 54 40 or fight mean?
During the 1844 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party asserted that the United States could claim all territory in the Oregon Country north to the 54-40 line, or parallel. The British disputed claims north of the 42nd parallel. "Fifty-four Forty or Fight" became the slogan of the expansionists....
Polk had a three-part plan for the war with Mexico: First, American troops would drive Mexican forces out of the disputed border region in Texas and make the border secure. Second, the United States would seize New Mexico and California. Finally, American forces would take Mexico City, the capital of Mexico.
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