Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States (1849-1850) and an American military leader. He was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer in 1808 and made a name for himself as a captain in the War of 1812. He e

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Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States (1849-1850) and an Stock Photo
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Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States (1849-1850) and an American military leader. He was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer in 1808 and made a name for himself as a captain in the War of 1812. He e
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Zachary Taylor (November 24, 1784 - July 9, 1850) was the 12th President of the United States (1849-1850) and an American military leader. He was commissioned as a U.S. Army officer in 1808 and made a name for himself as a captain in the War of 1812. He established military forts along the Mississippi River and entered the Black Hawk War as a colonel in 1832. His success in the Second Seminole War attracted national attention and earned him the nickname "Old Rough and Ready". In 1846 the Mexican-American War broke out, and Taylor led American troops to victory in a series of battles culminating in the Battle of Palo Alto and the Battle of Monterrey. He became a national hero. The Whig Party convinced him to lead their ticket, despite his unclear platform and lack of interest in politics. He won the election alongside U.S. Representative Millard Fillmore of New York. As president he kept his distance from Congress and his cabinet, even as partisan tensions threatened to divide the Union. Debate over the slave status of the large territories claimed in the war led to threats of secession from Southerners. Despite being a Southerner and a slaveholder himself, Taylor did not push for the expansion of slavery. To avoid the question, he urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850. Taylor died suddenly of a stomach-related illness in July 1850 at the age of 65 after serving only 16 months of his presidential term.