The Powerful Henry Clay Essay

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Henry Clay was the first Speaker of the House that really helped to establish the position and increase the power. Clay served three terms as Speaker of the House and in those years demonstrated how his tactics were effective as well as successful. Henry Clay was personable, and his youth and assertiveness made him a popular choice for Speaker. Clay used his position to place his allies in important committees to achieve these goals. As Clay gained clout in the House of Representatives, he was able to introduce his American System and ideas founded in the American Colonization Society. Henry Clay’s greatest accomplishment as Speaker of the House was the drafting of the Missouri Compromise, which gained him the title of the Great…show more content…
Clay placed these War Hawks in the most important committees, even though several were also new congressmen. Clay was able to do this without upsetting senior representatives because of the fairness he still gave to his colleagues. Senior congressmen respected Clay’s speaking abilities, youth, experience as a senator, and respect for American rights. The position was now more powerful as well as effective. Clay always had a clear agenda of what was to be discussed that day. He worked with committees to achieve his goals and specifically war legislation as the War of 1812 was approaching. Earlier speakers acted as a guide to the House of Representatives, and refrained from debates and votes. Henry Clay used his personality and initial popularity to debate and produce the majority needed. Henry Clay successfully placed War Hawks in appropriate committees, and the War of 1812 ensued. After the war, foreign goods flooded America with low prices, so Henry Clay endorsed what he called “The American System.” Henry Clay proposed a tariff on foreign goods, to boost American sales as well as provide funds for internal improvements. The passing of this tariff would allow foreign prices to rise and would result in Americans buying domestic good providing more jobs and a stronger economy. Clay stated the American System basically as, “Make at home what we have been buying abroad- and in that way we will get out of debt, and keep our money. A
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