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.
Though progressing into his seventh decade of life, Henry Clay was pulled back into the public sphere as the nation’s new president, James K Polk, led the nation into war with Mexico. Despite ill health and personal issues, Clay aimed one more time for the Executive Mansion and instead found himself being called to the Senate once more to prevent the disunion of the nation. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
John Tyler’s unexpected ascendancy to the presidency causes both Whigs and Democrats to think and rethink their strategies for the 1844 presidential election. Presumptive candidates Henry Clay and Martin Van Buren prepare to lead their respective parties into the general campaign, but for both, complications arise that threaten their political futures as the ambitious new president makes a priority of bringing Texas into the Union. Dissension in the ranks, rivals for power, and increased sectional tensions all threaten to make 1844 a year that Clay and Van Buren may wish to forget. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com
He may have lost in 1832, but that didn’t mean that Henry Clay lost his desire for the presidency. As 1836 and 1840 neared, each time, the gentleman from Kentucky had to decide whether to go for the gold once more. However, he would find the way in both contests littered with other Whig contenders in addition to old Sweet Sandy Whiskers (aka: Martin Van Buren) on the Democratic side. Nevertheless, the Senator persevered through the late 1830s and would take on presidents, generals, senators, pro-slavery southerners, and abolitionists in his quest to make it to the White House. 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.
The State Department under Henry Clay attempts to make its pivot to a focus on Latin America, but in its engagement with other nations in the Western Hemisphere, the nation’s diplomatic office stumbles and at times falls completely short. Clay struggles to deal with overzealous diplomats, turbulent situations on the ground, and British intrigues to gain influence in the region at the expense of the United States. The Western Star faces his greatest challenge yet when he assumes the role of Secretary of State and learns just how fraught with peril geopolitical relations can be. Source information for this episode can be found at whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Before delving into the Adams administration’s foreign policy in Latin America, this episode takes us on a very high level overview of the Latin American Wars of Independence. From the Rio de la Plata to Mexico City, and from Quito to Rio de Janeiro, we explore the hows and whys various Spanish and Portuguese Americans decided to declare independence from their respective countries. A note of caution here: I am an expert in neither the Spanish nor the Portuguese language, so I apologize in advance for any mispronunciations. They are certainly not indicative of any disrespect for the cultures or the peoples of Latin America as I have come out of the research for this episode with an increased respect for and fascination with the histories of the region. Source information for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Henry Clay takes over the State Department and finds he has big shoes to fill coming in after John Quincy Adams. As he assumes his duties, he is forced to deal with personal tragedy, poor health, and difficult diplomatic negotiations. Though scoring some wins abroad as new treaties are entered into, Clay only meets with frustration when dealing with the British and with folks back home in Kentucky. Listen in as we discuss the period of Clay’s life that one historian calls “the least congenial period of his whole official life.” Source information for this episode can be found at 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.