Polk was a slave owning southerner dedicated to Democratic party. In 1844, he was a "dark horse" candidate for president, and he won the election. Polk favored American expansion, especially advocating the annexation of Texas, California, and Oregon. He was a friend and follower of Andrew Jackson. He opposed Clay's American System, instead advocating lower tariff, separation the treasury and the federal government from the banking system. He was a nationalist who believed in Manifest Destiny.