Though never personal, throughout the course of the early 19th century, Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison found their lives intertwined for decades, through war and peace. Though they often found themselves in competition, there were also some rare instances where they could be found on the same side, and the story of their relationship over time provides much insight about the antebellum period of American history. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
After the defeat in 1828, the pro-Adams camp forms a new political party, the National Republicans, which turns to the willing and eager Henry Clay to lead them against Andrew Jackson and to carry the party banner towards victory in 1832. However, Clay will find that the presidential politics of the Jackson era are not quite as easy to navigate as he might have originally imagined, especially as another new party, the Anti-Masonic Party, threatens to steal away support from Clay and open a path to reelection victory for the incumbent President. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
After four years of the Adams administration, the voters go to the polls once more in 1828 as Andrew Jackson once more challenges the man from Massachusetts. However, the President’s supporters, including his Secretary of State Henry Clay, soon learn that the nature of politics has greatly changed since 1824, and if they hope to have any chance moving forward, they’ll have to change with the times. The battle royale that is Jackson versus Adams is on, and when the dust settles, Henry Clay will be left trying to figure out where his future might lead. Source information for this episode can be found on http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Henry Clay’s desire for the presidency grows as 1824 nears, but before he can try for that seat, he has to help hold the nation together during the Missouri Crisis and navigate through the perilous waters of personal debt. This episode takes us through James Monroe’s second term of office and the political maneuverings in the lead up to the election dubbed “The War of the Giants.” Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Henry Clay’s return from Europe following the War of 1812 marks a change both in the trajectory of the nation as well as Clay’s relationship with the Republican executive administration starting with James Monroe’s inauguration in 1819. Clay takes on Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson as he attempts to exert his influence over the American political landscape (as well as possibly position himself for the presidency). Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Ron Shafer, author of The Carnival Campaign, shares his insight into the 1840 presidential campaign, some of the prominent figures and circumstances of the time, and how he feels that William Henry Harrison is the figure from the 1840 campaign that people should know more about. During the course of the interview, Ron brings in his experience as a former Wall Street Journal reporter and editor, in particular his writing the page one column The Washington Wire, to share with listeners how the 1840 campaign in particular and early American politics in particular compares with our own time.
Westward expansion was one of the underlying causes of the American Revolution and played a key role in early American history. In this episode, I give a quick overview of the American push towards the Pacific beginning with the trans-Appalachian west and carrying on to Texas and Oregon. This expansion would ultimately impact not just the settlers making the move but also the native peoples already in the area as well as have ramifications for the 19th century geopolitical landscape. Source information and handy maps for reference can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
We step out of the narrative for this episode and examine what evidence is in the historical record about what other presidents thought of William Henry Harrison. From the first president to the forty-third, Old Tippecanoe elicited much comment from both contemporaries and future generations. Some presidents campaigned for him. Others fought to keep him out of the White House. Some admired him. Others ridiculed him. Some pronounced him “first-rate” while others called him a “stuffed shirt.” Some proclaimed him to be “the stern and unflinching advocate of popular rights” while others felt that his election would lead to the nation’s “end like that of ancient republics.” Find out who said what about the General in this episode. Source information can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Though the presidency of William Henry Harrison was short, the emotions of those thirty days ran the gamut. The jubilation and mirth of the inauguration quickly gave way to the frustration of trying to appease supporters with patronage. The stress got to Harrison so much that Andrew and I had to censor him on his own show (this is supposed to be a family-friendly show, General – control yourself!). Between the office seekers, Henry Clay’s impetuousness, and the looming fiscal crisis, Harrison did not have an easy go of it in the first few weeks but did still manage to keep up a lively social calendar before a doctor was called in on March 26th. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Upon his return to the United States, Harrison found himself beset by both personal and political issues. Through the course of Jackson’s terms in the White House, Harrison would face the death of loved ones and financial strains while at the same time continuing to make a name for himself in the public eye in spite of the efforts of rivals. He would also attempt to straddle both sides of the issue in the growing national debate over slavery. Through the many twists and turns of the 1830s, he would find the path ahead increasingly looking like it might lead to a White House in Washington. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.