Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Dr. David Sehat

Second Advisor

Dr. Wendy Venet

Abstract

Henry Clay’s effect on the second party system is undeniable. However, this thesis intends to do more than chronicle Clay’s life. By analyzing key points of Clay’s political career, one sees several key aspects of Clay’s political philosophy come to life. Unionism, the role of the Constitution, and compromise are fundamental to Clay’s political perspective. Other historians have argued that Clay was always motivated by “self-interest” and personal politics, but Clay’s politics never strayed far from national compromise and maintaining the Union.

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