This week on The Learning Curve co-hosts U-Arkansas Prof. Albert Cheng and Ret. MN Justice Barry Anderson interview USAF Academy’s professor emerita, Jeanne Heidler. Dr. Heidler discusses Henry Clay’s legacy as a seminal figure in American history. She covers Clay’s early life, his transformation from a Virginia farm boy to a leading statesman, and his being mentored in the law by Founding Father, George Wythe. Dr. Heidler explores Clay’s key contributions to U.S. public service, including his diplomatic role in ending the War of 1812, as well as his legislative work during the Missouri Compromise, the Nullification Crisis, and the Compromise of 1850. She addresses Clay’s controversial role in the Election of 1824 and his tenure as secretary of state. She continues by discussing Clay’s private life, his wife Lucretia, his conflicting positions on slavery, and his enduring impact trying to preserve the Union. In closing, Dr. Heidler reads a passage from her co-authored book, Henry Clay: The Essential American.

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