James Polk had promised to serve just one term as president and, during those four years, achieved his objectives: to re-establish the independent treasury system, lower the tariff, settle the Oregon-boundary dispute and acquire California. Further land acquisition followed the end of the Mexico-American War and a treaty with Great Britain. The Democratic presidential candidate was long-time Polk supporter and Michigan senator Lewis Cass. The Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor, a military hero of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. Also running again was former president Van Buren, this time for the newly formed anti-slavery Free Soil party. Both party campaigns avoided any clear position on contentious issues such as slavery, but the Whigs presented Taylor without any political platform. Despite accusations that he lacked political experience, the military hero won and Taylor became president. 1848 was the first time that all states voted in the election on the same day.
— OR —