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.
We take a close look in this episode at Harrison’s letter to Símon Bolívar of 27 September 1829, completed just prior to Harrison’s return to the United States, in order to understand what it reveals about Harrison’s observations on Colombia and its government as well as about Harrison and what he took from this foray into international diplomacy. I also consider what implications this letter has for Harrison at this point in his life and what we might glean from it about his plans upon his return to North Bend. Sources used 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.