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.
The Star of the West, Henry Clay, heads east as he is appointed as a peace commissioner and sent to Ghent, Belgium to negotiate with the British to end a war that was not going all that well (except for, of course, in the campaigns led by General William Henry Harrison). Before heading off to Europe though, Clay also had his first brush with presidential politics as he was offered a place on a presidential ticket. Sources used for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
Clay’s early career finds him rising from being a self-proclaimed “Mill Boy of the Slashes” to being elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. Along the way, he obtains an education in the law in Richmond before moving to Lexington, Kentucky where he starts a family and sets off on his lengthy political career. In this, the first in a series of episodes on the man who would become known as the Great Compromiser, we get a glimpse of some of the political divides that would ultimately lead into the Second Party System as well as the growing public discussion and debate over the issue of slavery which would define so much of both Clay’s public and private life. Resources used in this episode 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.
Harrison is sent off on a diplomatic mission to Colombia but quickly learns that navigating international politics can sometimes be problematic, particularly in the wake of both the turbulence of the Latin American wars of independence and the Jackson revolution back in the States. Join the General and myself on a journey of nearly 2,500 miles from North Bend to Bogotá, the capital of Simón Bolívar’s Gran Colombia. Sources for this episode can be found at http://whhpodcast.blubrry.com.
A government on the brink of disaster, a nation facing financial ruin and social strife, and even a guest appearance from everyone’s favorite Founding Father with his own musical. The Jacksonian finance system may not be the first subject that one would think of for an interesting episode, but there was more going on than folks are typically aware that had an impact on our world today. Join me on this week’s episode as we finally learn what the Specie Circular was, why Jackson felt he had to kill the Bank of the United States, and how it all fit in to the economic calamity that began in 1837.