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Henry Clay was also known as “The Great Compromiser” or “The Great Pacificator”. He was a U.S Representative who also served as President John Quincy Adams’ Secretary of State. For more facts on Henry Clay read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Henry Clay was born on April 12, 1777, in Hanover, Virginia. He was seventh of the nine children of John and Elizabeth Hudson Clay. In 1799, Henry married Lucretia Hart of Lexington, Kentucky, and they had 11 children throughout their married life.
- He studied law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1797. At the age 20, he moved to Kentucky and established himself as a lawyer. When he married the youngest daughter of Colonel Thomas Hart, Henry gained considerable political status in his state.
- In 1803, he was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. Clay was a member of the Jeffersonian-Republican Party. He supported the emancipation of the slaves and opposed the Alien and Sedition Act. At the age of 29, he was appointed to the U.S Senate, the same year that he took the Burr Case.
- Clay was known for serving multiple terms in the House of Representatives, from 1811 until 1852. As Speaker of the House, he was known as a ‘War Hawk’ who vocally pushed for confrontation against the British. Clay’s political pressure led to the War of 1812, yet he was appointed by Pres. James Madison to be one of the peacekeepers in Ghent, Belgium.
- By 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected as the US President. Clay was then selected as the Secretary of State after being defeated by Adams.
- After 4 years, Clay returned to Kentucky after being defeated again by Andrew Jackson as the party’s presidential nominee .
- He went back to the Senate by 1831 and became the leader of the National Republican Party, known as the Whig Party. They bid to unseat Jackson from office.
- Another White House run for Clay happened in 1840. The Whigs turned to General William Henry Harrison for the presidency instead of Clay. Harrison then chose John Tyler as his running mate.
- In 1884, the party selected him for the run in White House, but it was later on given to James Polk. The party did not like Clay’s idea of annexing Texas.
- On June 29, 1852, Henry died of tuberculosis and was then buried in Lexington, Kentucky.
Other Political Achievements of Henry Clay
- Clay advocated the independence of several Latin American Republics and the establishment of a national bank.
- During the Missouri Compromise of 1820, he favored the emancipation of slaves and their resettlement in Africa.
- The Compromise Tariff of 1833 slowed down tensions between the states and international tariffs. Both southern and northern states were hurt by the tariff agreements on exports. Clay’s compromise lowered the tension between the White House and Southern legislators.
- In 1850, Henry introduced a bill allowing California to enter the Union as a non-slave state. It included the Texas settlement, fugitive slave law, and the abolition of the slave trade in the District of Columbia.
- In one of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches, he regarded Henry Clay as an ideal statesman.
Henry Clay Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Henry Clay Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Henry Clay who was also known as “The Great Compromiser” or “The Great Pacificator”. He was a U.S Representative who also served as President John Quincy Adams’ Secretary of State.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Henry Clay Facts
- The Great Compromiser
- Run for White House
- The US Congress
- Political Crossword
- Quotable Quotes
- Presidential Rivals
- Read Clay’s Speech
- Clay’s American System
- My Ideal Statesman
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Use With Any Curriculum
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