by Michaela Lamb
Clay had several jobs before and after his famous compromises. Clay was a lawyer and an orator. He was in the senate several times, in 1806-1807, 1810-1811, 1831-1842, and 1849-1852. Clay also had a term in the House of Representatives, from 1810 to 1814.
Clay also ran for president in 1832, 1840, 1844, and 1848. In Clay's campaign in 1824 and 1832, he ran in the Republican party. In 1840, 1844, and 1848, Clay changed to the Whig party.
Clay's first compromise was the Compromise Tariff of 1833. This compromise was made to pacify South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis. The Nullification Crisis was when congress raised the tariff on foreign goods. This made the north happy since more people were buying their products, and not foreign countries' products, therefore the north made more money. The south did not like the tariff because other countries quit buying their raw materials, since few people in America were buying the foreign products. Since foreign countries were not buying the south's materials, the south did not earn much money. After South Carolina threatened to secede from the United States, congress lowered the tariff, through the Compromise Tariff of 1833. Clay helped promote this tariff.
The next compromise that Clay helped with was the Compromise of 1820, also known as the Missouri Compromise. Missouri wanted to become a state in the United States, but Missouri wanted to enter as a slave state. At this time, there were an equal number of slave and free states in the United States. The north did not want there to be another slave state, which would make the number of slave and free states unequal. In the Compromise of 1820, Missouri entered as a slave state, and Maine entered as a free state. The number of free and slave states in the United States remained equal. Another part of the Compromise of 1820 was that any state that entered the United States from a territory in the west would become free if it was north of the 36-30 North latitude line, and any state south of the 36-30 North latitude line would become free. Clay was an important part of this compromise.
The final compromise that Clay helped with was the Compromise of 1850. After the U.S.-Mexican War, the United States gained a part of land known as the Mexican Cession. Some sections of the territory wanted to become states, but it was undecided if the states would become slave states or free states. To satisfy the north and south, another treaty was made: The Compromise of 1850. There were five parts to the treaty. First, California entered the Union as a free state. Second, in New Mexico and Utah, the citizens could decide whether or not their state was free or slave by voting. Third, there would no longer be any slave trade in D.C. Fourth, the Fugitive Slave Law was enacted. (The Fugitive Slave Law was were northerners had to return escaped slaves to their owners in the south.) Fifth, the border between New Mexico and Texas was decided. Clay was the author of the Compromise of 1850. This compromise delayed the Civil War for ten years.
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