The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and Calhoun by Merrill D. Peterson

The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and Calhoun

byMerrill D. Peterson

Paperback | April 1, 1995

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Enormously powerful, intensely ambitious, the very personifications of their respective regions--Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun represented the foremost statemen of their age. In the decades preceding the Civil War, they dominated American congressional politics as noother figures have. Now Merrill D. Peterson, one of our most gifted historians, brilliantly re-creates the lives and times of these great men in this monumental collective biography. Arriving on the national scene at the onset of the War of 1812 and departing political life during the ordeal of the Union in 1850-52, Webster, Clay, and Calhoun opened--and closed--a new era in American politics. In outlook and style, they represented startling contrasts: Webster, theFederalist and staunch New England defender of the Union; Clay, the "war hawk" and National Rebublican leader from the West; Calhoun, the youthful nationalist who became the foremost spokesman of the South and slavery. They came together in the Senate for the first time in 1832, united in theiropposition of Andrew Jackson, and thus gave birth to the idea of the "Great Triumvirate." Entering the history books, this idea survived the test of time because these men divided so much of American politics between them for so long. Peterson brings to life the great events in which the Triumvirate figured so prominently, including the debates on Clay's American System, the Missouri Compromise, the Webster-Hayne debate, the Bank War, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, the annexation of Texas, and the Compromise of 1850. Atonce a sweeping narrative and a penetrating study of non-presidential leadership, this book offers an indelible picture of this conservative era in which statesmen viewed the preservation of the legacy of free government inherited from the Founding Fathers as their principal mission. In fascinatingdetail, Peterson demonstrates how precisely Webster, Clay, and Calhoun exemplify three facets of this national mind.

About The Author

Merrill D. Peterson is Thomas Jefferson Foundation Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Virginia. A winner of the Bancroft Prize and a former Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author of numerous books, including The Jefferson Image in the American Mind and Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation: A Biography.
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Details & Specs

Title:The Great Triumvirate: Webster, Clay, and CalhounFormat:PaperbackDimensions:582 pages, 6.14 × 9.13 × 1.54 inPublished:April 1, 1995Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195056868

ISBN - 13:9780195056860

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From Our Editors

Peterson brings to life the great events in which the Triumvirate figures so Prominently.

Editorial Reviews

"Narrative history at its best, scholarly and a model of fairness, but at the same time full of life--much better reading than most modern fiction."--Don E. Fehrenbacher, Stanford University