Zachary Taylor was the general that James K. Polk had sent to the Rio Grande river to invoke the Mexican-American War. He appealed to Northerners with his reputation as a war hero of the Mexican-American war that expanded American borders; meanwhile, he was favored by the South as he was a known slave owner. Despite being a member of the whig party, Taylor identified himself as more of a nationalist and opposed the idea of the creation of more slave states. Taylor pushed settlers in the new states to create state constitutions and by this action, by passing the territory stage to avoid disputes and admitting states immediately. This action angered Southerners; southern leaders threatened Taylor with succession, but Zachary Taylor responded by saying those “taken in rebellion against the Union, he would hang … with less reluctance than he had hanged deserters and spies in Mexico.” During this time of heated disputes between the North and the South, Zachary Taylor vowed to hold onto the unity of the United States and would do so even if it required the use of force, without compromising and he was successful in preventing southern succession at the time. Taylor, however, would die suddenly of illness 14 months into his term.
Zachary Taylor. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 06:27, May 19, 2015, fromhttp://www.biography.com/people/zachary-taylor-9503363.