The US election of 1844; 3 contrasting historical versions


1844 Election Results
Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
 James K. Polk Democratic 170 1,337,243
 Henry Clay Whig 105 1,299,062

The United States presidential election of 1844 saw Democrat James Knox Polk defeat Whig Henry Clay in a close contest that turned on foreign policy, with Polk favoring the annexation of Texas and Clay opposed.

Democratic nominee James K. Polk ran on a platform that embraced American territorial expansionism, an idea soon to be called Manifest Destiny. At their convention, the Democrats called for the annexation of Texas and asserted that the United States had a “clear and unquestionable” claim to “the whole” of Oregon. By informally tying the Oregon boundary dispute to the more controversial Texas debate, the Democrats appealed to both Northern expansionists (who were more adamant about the Oregon boundary) and Southern expansionists (who were more focused on annexing Texas as a slave state). Polk went on to win a narrow victory over Whig candidate Henry Clay, in part because Clay had taken a stand against expansion.


3 Views of US History:    a) public/White House, b) US arms dealers, c) History Commons    Why are there 3 versions of history?  To divide the US populace perhaps?

version a)   On this day in 1986, President Ronald Reagan went on national television to explain –and, in part, defend–the secret sale of arms to Iran despite a U.S. arms embargo.  White House officials hoped the arms transfers through Israel would help secure the release of seven U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon….Reagan addressed the nation 10 days after the arms-for-hostages deal was revealed in a Lebanese magazine.


version b)  After Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980, Iran had a desperate need for weapons and spare parts to maintain its current weapons.  After Ronald Reagan took office as President on 20 January 1981, he vowed to continue Carter’s policy of blocking arms sales to Iran under the grounds that Iran was a supporter of terrorism.[16]  A group of senior Reagan administration officials in the Senior Interdepartmental Group conducted a secret study on 21 July 1981, which concluded that the arms embargo was ineffective as Iran could always buy arms and spare parts for its American weapons elsewhere while at the same time, the arms embargo opened the door for Iran to fall into the Soviet sphere of influence as the Kremlin could sell Iran weapons if the United States would not.[17]–Contra_affair


version c)

An ailing Agha Hasan Abedi in 1991.An ailing Agha Hasan Abedi in 1991. [ Source: Associated Press]

NBC News later reports that CIA Director William Casey secretly meets with the head of the criminal Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) from 1984 until 1986, shortly before Casey’s death.  The NBC report, quoting unnamed BCCI sources, will claim that Casey met with BCCI head Agha Hasan Abedi every few months in a luxury suite at the Madison Hotel in Washington.  The two men allegedly discussed the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages transactions and CIA weapons shipments to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan.  The CIA denies all the allegations. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/1992 But books by Time magazine and Wall Street Journal reporters will corroborate that Casey repeatedly met with Abedi. [SCOTT, 2007, PP. 116]  Casey also meets with Asaf Ali, a BCCI-connected arms dealer, in Washington, DC, and in Pakistan.  On one occasion, Casey has a meeting in Washington with Abedi, Ali, and Pakistani President Muhammad Zia ul-Haq. [BEATY AND GWYNNE, 1993, PP. 308]



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