By Harlow G. Unger

ISBN-10: 1631211927

ISBN-13: 9781631211928

A compelling new biography of America's strongest Speaker of the home, who held the divided country jointly for 3 a long time and who was once Lincoln's guiding gentle

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Extra resources for Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman

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He was a compromise candidate, everyone’s second choice in a convention dominated by more celebrated politicians, a moderate from the center of a moderate middlewestern state without which the new party stood little chance of victory. Persuaded that the Constitution forbade presidential action against slavery where it already existed, Lincoln was nonetheless pledged to halt its further spread. “On that point,” he told his supporters, “hold firm, as with a chain of steel. ” South Carolina warned that she would secede from the Union if a President so pledged were elected.

By 1850, only a third lived there. Of the nine largest cities, only New Orleans was located in the lower South. Meanwhile, a tenth of the goods manufactured in America came from southern mills and factories. There were one hundred piano makers in New York alone in 1852. In 1846, there was not a single book publisher in New Orleans; even the city guidebook was printed in Manhattan. Northerners invented the steamboat, the clipper ship, the steel plow, the telegraph, the mechanical reaper, the revolver, the sewing machine, the lead pencil, the friction match, the safety pin, the typewriter, the straw hat, the rubber ball.

Charles Dickens wept over it. So did Queen Victoria. By 1854, Calhoun, Clay, and Webster were all gone from the Senate, and its most prominent figure was Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat of Illinois. Known to his admirers as “the Little Giant,” Douglas was short, shrewd, and ambitious. He owned 140 slaves himself but said he did not care whether slavery was voted up or down. He now sought to promote a transcontinental railroad along a route that would enrich both his state and himself through the enactment of still another compromise: this one proposed to ignore the old border between slave and free soil mandated by Congress in 1820 and let settlers in the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska decide for themselves whether slavery was to be barred.

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Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman by Harlow G. Unger


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