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.
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.