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  In 1848 to spite his victory over Mexico and a high approval rating, President Polk did not run for reelection.  His health was failing him and he would die shortly after leaving office.

     The issue of slavery was so divisive during    

the Election of 1848, that most of the candidates choose to ignore it.  During the election campaign in 1848, three individuals sought the presidency.  The first candidate was former president Martin Van Buren from the newly created "Free Soil Party".  The Free Soil Party believed in the Wilmot Proviso and campaigned to keep slavery out of the Mexican Cession.  The Democratic Party's candidate was Lewis Cass.  Cass was considered to be a moderate on the slavery question, meaning that he hoped to find a compromise between proslavery people and abolitionists.  He came up with the idea of "Popular Sovereignty".  Popular Sovereignty was a way in which many thought the slavery question could be answered.  Popular Sovereignty allowed the people of a territory to vote prior to becoming a state to decide if they wanted to be a free or a slave state.  The last candidate from the Whig Party was Zachary Taylor.  Taylor, nicknamed "Old Rough and Ready" ran a campaign in which he reminded America that he was a Mexican War hero.  Taylor had no political experience and no platform.

     When the votes were tallied in 1848, "Old Rough and Ready" Zachary Taylor was elected president.  After his inauguration, Taylor shook hands, listen to the band play, and had no idea what to do as president.  Taylor was a warm hearted man who was easy to like.  He was ordinary and common and although he was wealthy, he had little sophistication.  Taylor did not know how to be president and was often seen wondering around the White House grounds looking for something to do.