Henry Clay and the Struggle for the Union explores the turbulent forty years leading up to the Civil War; it is the first documentary ever produced on Henry Clay of Kentucky, the most dominant public figure in the formulation of compromises in 1820, 1833 and 1850 that narrowly avoided disunion and civil war. This program examines the impact of slavery on the expansion of the Nation westward and how conflict between North and South, free States and slave States, was, in the end, irrepressible. Lavishly illustrated with stunning period photographs, art, maps, footage of the Old Senate Chamber in the Nation's Capital, and dramatic scenes of Clay and his senate colleagues played by skilled professional actor, Henry Clay and the Struggle for the Union brings the history of the years before the Civil War alive on the screen. Students will learn: What was the first Constitution of the United States and why did it not last? What was the Union Henry Clay struggled to maintain? Why was there a need to keep the number of slave states and free states equal? Why was there a struggle for the Union? Where was the first threat by States to secede from the Union and how was it avoided? Grades 9 & up. 20 minutes.
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