The American System

Assandra Baysah

Henry Clay

Henry Clay was born on April 12, 1777 in Hanover County, Virginia. He was raised with modest wealth. Clay was the secenth of nine children. By 1797 he was admitted to the Virginia bar. After he moved to Lexington Kentucky. There he married Lucretia Hart who was the daughter of a wealthy Lexington businessman. They were married for 50 years and had 11 children. In 1803 Henry was elected into the Kentucky General Assembly. In 1806 at just 29 years old he was appointed to the US Senate. He served many terms on the senate as well as in the House. Clay was even the speaker of house at one point.

Why was it necessasry?

The American System was originally presented to congress by Madison. It was a plan to ensure America would be economically self-sufficient. Also to strengthen and unify the nation.

Key Components of the America System

There are three key parts of the american system

1. Establish a protective Tariff

  • A tax on imported goods that protects a nation’s businesses from foreign competition
  • Encourages Americans to buy from other Americans
2. Establish a national bank
  • Promotes a single currency
  • Allows for easier trade because regional Banks usually had their own currency
3. Internal improvements
  • Improve the Country’s Transportation System for faster trade and movement and to help keep people connected

Nationalism vs. Sectionalism

  • A feeling of pride, loyalty, and protectiveness toward your country


  • Loyalty to the interests of your own region or section of the country, rather than to the nations as a whole