Henry Clay Essay

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Henry Clay: The Great Compromiser Henry Clay is probably the most famous Congressman to have never been elected President. He was known as the Great Compromiser, and was a member of the Congress for 40 years. Clay was a member of the "Great Triumvirate" along with Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun. In his time in Washington he ran for president 5 times, but was never successful. He founded the Whig party, and was instrumental in defining the issues of the second party system. He also served as the Secretary of State and Speaker of the House of Representatives. In 1957 he was voted as one of the 5 greatest senators by a committee headed up by John F. Kennedy.(1)( Henry Clay was born …show more content…

He became known as a powerful courtroom orator, and his reputation grew. Clay began his political career in 1803 when he was elected to the Kentucky State House of Representatives as a Democratic Republican. (2) ( At the age of 29 Clay got his first taste of action on the national political stage when he was elected to the United States Senate on November 19, 1806 to replace Senator John Adair. He served in the Senate until March 19 1807, when he was still under the constitutionally mandated age of 30. Clay returned to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1808, and was elected Speaker a year later in 1809. Henry Clay was elected again to the Senate to fill the vacancy left when Buckner Thruston resigned on January 14 1810. He Served there until his successful bid for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1812 as a Democratic Republican. On the first day of the session 34 year old clay was selected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, a feat that has never before or since been accomplished.(1) During the next 14 years he was elected to the House and selected as the Speaker all 5 times he ran. Prior to his speakership the Speaker of the House was a moderator. When Clay took over he made it a position of power almost equal to that of the President of the United States. He appointed members of his War Hawk group

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