Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 – June 29, 1852) was an American lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He served three different terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives and was also Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829. He lost his campaigns for president in 1824, 1832 and 1844.
Clay was a dominant figure in both the First and Second Party systems. As a leading war hawk in 1812, he favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in the War of 1812. In 1824 he ran for president and lost, but threw his electoral votes to John Quincy Adams, who made him secretary of state as the Jacksonians denounced what they considered a "corrupt bargain." He ran and lost again in 1832 and 1844 as the candidate of the Whig Party, which he founded and usually dominated. Clay was the foremost proponent of the American System, fighting for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. He opposed the annexation of Texas, fearing it would inject the slavery issue into politics. Clay also opposed the Mexican-American War and the "Manifest Destiny" policy of Democrats, which cost him votes in the close 1844 election. Dubbed the "Great Pacificator," Clay brokered important compromises during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue. As part of the "Great Triumvirate" or "Immortal Trio," along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, he was instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names "Henry of the West" and "The Western Star." A plantation owner, Clay held slaves during his lifetime but freed them in his Will.
The history of the United States as covered in American schools and universities typically begins with either Christopher Columbus's 1492 voyage to the Americas or with the prehistory of the Native peoples, with the latter approach having become increasingly common in recent decades.
Indigenous peoples lived in what is now the United States for thousands of years and developed complex cultures before European colonists began to arrive, mostly from England, after 1600. The Spanish had early settlements in Florida and the Southwest, and the French along the Mississippi River and Gulf Coast. By the 1770s, thirteen British colonies contained two and a half million people along the Atlantic coast, east of the Appalachian Mountains. The colonies were prosperous and growing rapidly, and had developed their own self-governing political and legal systems. After driving the French out of North America in 1763, the British imposed a series of new taxes while rejecting the American argument that taxes required representation in Parliament. "No taxation without representation" became the American catch phrase. Tax resistance, especially the Boston Tea Party of 1774, led to punishment by Parliament designed to end self-government in Massachusetts. All 13 colonies united in a Congress that led to armed conflict in April 1775. On July 4, 1776, the Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed that all men are created equal, and founded a new nation, the United States of America.
Slavery in the United States for this article refers to the legal institution that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British North America from early colonial days, and was firmly established by the time of the United States' Declaration of Independence in 1776. After this, there was a gradual spread of abolitionism in the North, while the rapid expansion of the cotton industry from 1800 caused the South to identify strongly with slavery, and attempt to extend it into the new Western territories. Thus slavery polarized the nation into slave states and free states along the Mason-Dixon Line, which separated Maryland (slave) and Pennsylvania (free).
Although the international slave trade was prohibited from 1808, internal slave-trading continued apace, and the slave population would eventually peak at four million before abolition. Of all 1,515,605 free families in the fifteen slave states in 1860, nearly 400,000 held slaves (roughly one in four, or 25%), amounting to 8% of all American families. By the time of the United States founding, even through some free persons of color were present, the status of slave was largely limited almost entirely to Africans and those of African decent, creating a system and legacy in which race played an influential role.
The United States is a federal constitutional republic, in which the President of the United States (the head of state and head of government), Congress, and judiciary share powers reserved to the national government, and the federal government shares sovereignty with the state governments.
The Great Triumvirate is a term that refers to the three statesmen who dominated the United States Senate in the 1830s and '40s: Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. All three were extremely active in politics, had been appointed United States Secretary of State, and had served in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each was a distinguished orator and debater.
Traditionally, Clay has been described as the most animated of the three. His passionate delivery and flamboyant mannerisms captured the attention of his audience and made his words memorable. Webster has been described as the erudite one, especially in vocabulary. His seamless delivery of words made his speeches powerful. Calhoun has been described as the intellectual of the group, delivering speeches with great substance.
The Second Party System is a term of periodization used by historians and political scientists to name the political party system existing in the United States from about 1828 to 1854, after the First Party System. The system was characterized by rapidly rising levels of voter interest beginning in 1828, as demonstrated by Election Day turnout, rallies, partisan newspapers, and a high degree of personal loyalty to party.
The major parties were the Democratic Party, led by Andrew Jackson, and the Whig Party, assembled by Henry Clay from the National Republicans and other opponents of Jackson. Minor parties included the Anti-Masonic Party, which was an important innovator from 1827 to 1834; the abolitionist Liberty Party in 1840; and the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1848 and 1852. The Second Party System reflected and shaped the political, social, economic and cultural currents of the Jacksonian Era, until succeeded by the Third Party System.
The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri.
Hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable. This includes the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.