Henry Clay and the Election of 1844: The Limits of a Rhetoric of Compromise

  title={Henry Clay and the Election of 1844: The Limits of a Rhetoric of Compromise},
  author={David Zarefsky},
  journal={Rhetoric \& Public Affairs},
  pages={79 - 96}
  • D. Zarefsky
  • Published 30 April 2003
  • Sociology
  • Rhetoric & Public Affairs
Henry Clay's reputation was based on his skill in formulating legislative compromises between competing positions, enacting the attribute of prudence. This approach proved unsuccessful in the context of a heated election campaign. Focusing on a series of public letters Clay issued during 1844, this analysis traces his rhetorical difficulties in the campaign and suggests the limitations of a rhetorical stance based on compromise. 

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