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  • The political history of Oregon can be traced back to the presidency of James Polk and the settling of the Oregon Question, a dispute concerning Oregon's boundaries. Polk was elected in 1844 in part because of his slogan “Fifty-four Forty or Fight,” a call to establish the northern boundary of Oregon at parallel 54°40'. When he became president, he pushed for a resolution of the 1828 agreement between the United States and Great Britain, which allowed both countries to occupy the region. Parallel fifty-four forty was an extreme claim and a political risk that worked. Actual conflict with Great Britain was avoided and the two countries agreed to a boundary of the Oregon territory on the forty-ninth parallel. Americans had already settled in the region ...

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