Henry Clay, the American Union, and the Causes of the Civil War
This seminar uses Henry Clay’s political philosophy to explore early-to- mid nineteenth-century debates on American nationalism and state sovereignty. Though Clay’s generation viewed itself the heirs of the Founding Fathers, their political debates and philosophies of American nationality established the sectional foundation that would lead to secession and civil war. This seminar will engage Clay’s views alongside his leading political contemporaries: John C. Calhoun, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln.
Participants will tour Ashland–The Henry Clay Estate, a historic house museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of Henry Clay.