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A National Book Award-winning historian brilliantly portrays Henry Clay's heroic brokering of the Compromise of 1850 with its timely message about bipartisanship in times of crisis. It has been said that if Henry Clay had been alive in 1860, there would have been no Civil War. Based on his performance in 1850, it may well be true. In that year, the United States faced one of the most dangerous crises in its history, having just acquired a huge parcel...
3) America's great debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the compromise that preserved the Union
The Mexican War introduced vast new territories into the United States, among them California and the present-day Southwest. When gold was discovered in California in the great Gold Rush of 1849, the population swelled, and settlers petitioned for admission to the Union. But the U.S. Senate was precariously balanced with fifteen free states and fifteen slave states. Up to this point, states had been admitted in pairs, one free, and one slave, to preserve...
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