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.
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.
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.