Henry Clay

Austin Coates


Henry Clay, was born April 12th, I777, in Hanover county, Virginia. He early devoted himself to the law, and shortly after moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where he soon obtained a lucrative practice and political influence enough to be elected to the state legislature. In 1806, he was elected to Congress and again in 18O9 he was chosen senator for a term of two years, during which period he distinguished himself by several brilliant speeches. In 1811, he was sent to the House of Representatives, where he was immediately elected Speaker. He was a strenuous supporter of the War with Great Britain at first but once he realized the war was pointless, In 1814, he was appointed one of the commissioners to negotiate the treaty of peace at Ghent, where he proved his worth and knowledge. Returning home in 1815, he was again elected to Congress, and again chosen Speaker. He retained this position by re-election until 1821. He exerted all his talents in favor of the independence of South America, and labored hard to eradicate all European influence from the American continent.

Clay, however, is best known as the author of the famous "Missouri Compromise," and his defence of the "American system of protection to native industry against the free-trade principles of Southern politicians."

Henry Clay ran for president in 1824, and finished fourth. The election had no clear electoral college winner, so the new president had to be determined by the House of Representatives. Clay, threw his support to John Adams, who won the vote in the House, defeating Andrew Jackson. Adams

then named Clay as his secretary of state. Jackson and his supporters were outraged, and charged that Adams and Clay had made a "corrupt bargain."

The charge was probably baseless, as Clay had an intense dislike for Jackson and his politics anyway, and would not have needed the bribe of a job to support Adams over Jackson. But the election of 1824 went down in history as The Corrupt Bargain.

Andrew Jackson was elected president in 1828. With the end of his term as secretary of state, Clay returned to his farm in Kentucky. His retirement from politics was brief, as the voters of Kentucky elected him to the U.S. Senate in 1831.

In 1832 Clay ran for president again, and was defeated by his enemy Andrew Jackson.

The anti-Jackson Clay campaign of 1832 was the beginning of the Whig Party in American politics. Clay sought the Whig nomination for president in 1836 and 1840, both times losing to William Henry Harrison, who was finally elected in 1840. Harrison died after only a month in office, and was replaced by his vice president, John Tyler.

Clay was outraged by some of Tyler's actions, and resigned from the senate in 1842 and returned to Kentucky. He ran again for president in 1844, losing to James K Polk. It appeared that he had left politics for good, but Kentucky voters sent him back to the senate in 1849.As one of his last actions, In 1850, with the question raised of whether California should become part of the U.S. as either a slave state or a free state, Clay stepped to the negotiating table once more to stave off bloodshed. In one fell swoop Clay introduced a bill that allowed California to enter the Union as a non-slave state, without an additional slave state as compensation. Clay's influences and motivation were mainly powered by his own believes and he looked up to politicians such as John Adams who were alive during his time period and believed in the same ideas as him. Most of his motivation was stimulated through his own beliefs and acted upon because he felt strongly about his views and ideas. Rather than learning than other people so much, Clay found out for himself how he felt about ideas and that why he was so influential.

"I Would Rather Be Right Than President"

Henry Clay
If Henry Clay were to be alive today, he would be just as successful as he was in the Jeffersonian Era, or even more. Clay would be a huge refresher from the politicians we have today who simply do what ever it takes to get elected and don't focus on their true ideals. Clay would still be extremely influential and would also still be popular because of his honest and thoughtful approach to politics. If I had the same skills today as Clay did in the 1800's, I would attempt to follow in his footsteps as best I could and try and live a similar idealistic life as him. I would make sure I derived my own beliefs and stuck to them no matter what and I would try and help this country to the best of my ability. Like Clay I would try and be friendly and become a popular person so I could be just as influential. Rather than Clay I would most likely use my influential power in a nonpolitical way such as promoting an important charity I believed in or informing people of hidden information most people do not get to see related to the government or their every day life. Since Clay lived during the 1800's many of his views had to do with equality. Also during that time period technology like social media was not aroun so it was much harder for him to gain a large following.
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Although Henry Clay was an influential and powerful person, Clay had confusing and contradicting political views. Despite owning slaves, Clay publicly despised the idea and was the president of the American Colonization Society.(Periodic Sentence)Also he did things like marry his wife, which seemed like a political stunt at the time, and stayed with her for 53 years. He loved to drink and party, but he gained his real strength from his quite ranch with his horses. Everything Clay portrayed on the outside, didn't exactly seem to be the real him once people began to delve into his life. Coating his life with his political career, we may never know how Clay truly acted and believed.(participle phrase) We can only assume his trustworthy front was genuine.

"Who is Barrack Obama?"

Compromise Speech

It has been objected against this measure that it is a compromise. It has been said that it is a compromise of principle, or of a principle. Mr. President, what is a compromise? It is a work of mutual concession - an agreement in which there are reciprocal stipulations - a work in which, for the sake of peace and concord, one party abates his extreme demands in consideration of an abatement of extreme demands by the other party: it is a measure of mutual concession - a measure of mutual sacrifice. Undoubtedly, Mr. President, in all such measures of compromise, one party would be very glad to get what he wants, and reject what he does not desire but which the other party wants. But when he comes to reflect that, from the nature of the government and its operations, and from those with whom he is dealing, it is necessary upon his part, in order to secure what he wants, to grant something to the other side, he should be reconciled to the concession which he has made in consequence of the concession which he is to receive, if there is no great principle involved, such as a violation of the Constitution of the United States. I admit that such a compromise as that ought never to be sanctioned or adopted. But I now call upon any senator in his place to point out from the beginning to the end, from California to New Mexico, a solitary provision in this bill which is violative of the Constitution of the United States.

speaker-Henry Clay

occasion- meeting regarding new compromise that Taylor regarded as not actually being a compromise

audience-Zachary Taylor

purpose-explain to him what a compromise is, what it does, and how it works



most effective rhetorical strategies with explanation of effect-Sarcasm: creates a feeling of discomfort and shows that Clay is not naïve to the situation and is not in the mood to play around. Rather than just presenting the information the sarcasm creates a sense of negativity(which Clay wants)