We Are All Republicans, We Are All Federalists

Chapter Twenty: The Presidency of James Madison, 1817-1821
Chapter Twenty: The Presidency of James Madison, 1817-1821

President James Madison
When Madison won the election of 1816, he was prepared to assume the office that had been denied to him in 1812 by a careless elector. In the course of four years, however, America had changed drastically. Increasingly, power was shifting out of the hands of the Revolutionary War generation, and into the hands of a new one that had yet to be defined. In all prior presidential cabinets, there had been at least three veterans of the American Revolution included. Madison's cabinet would be the last to follow this trend. In fact, it would be the last to have veterans of the American Revolution present at all. This occurrence in Madison's administration would lead to his administration being labeled as the final one of the Founding Era.
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A photograph of four generations of Americans
The changing of America's era can also have been in seen in the focus of the Madison administration. While the most of presidencies of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson had been focused on establishing the U.S. government into a solid and stable body and garnering the respect of international nations, Madison's presidency differed. All of this had been pretty through established by the time Madison entered office, and he could look towards internal improvement. Under his watch, many roads, canals, and other like things were built. Prominent among these projects were the Erie Canal, which linked New York City to the Great Lakes, and the National Road, which served to connect the tradition 13 U.S. states to the Midwestern ones, providing settlers with a more stable route west. He would also oversee the creation of the Second Bank of the United States. The First Bank's charter had failed to be renewed when the Democratic-Republican controlled Congress failed to pass it, denying President Jefferson the opportunity to renew it. Under Madison, the bank would be given a second life, with Albert Gallatin, a close friend of Madison and former secretary of the treasury, serving as its first president.

A modern photograph of the building in which the Second Bank was located and a photograph of Albert Gallatin from 1848
Ultimately, however, it would not be these issues that defined the Madison's term in office. Rather, it was for two other events that he is mostly remembered for. First would be the Panic of 1819. This financial depression would be the first major one since the implementation of the U.S. Constitution. It was caused by a variety of reasons, but there were three major ones. First, the country was ramping down war production, and many men were returning home from active combat. In effect, this amounted to jobs disappearing as more people entered the civilian workforce, creating unemployment. This was also going on abroad as the Napoleonic Wars finally ended, lowering foreign demand for American products, especially war materials. Secondly, without the oversight of a national bank, money had been printed out of control and its value was deflating, and even with the reemergence of a national bank, their efforts proved ineffective. Finally, many people had engaged in public land speculation and had saturated the market, making land less and less valuable. All of these combined into a terrible recession, which was effectively out of the control of the Madison administration, but he still took flak for.

A depiction of a bank run caused by the panic
The second thing that came to define the Madison administration was Missouri. In the time of national strife as the panic continued, House Speaker John W. Taylor sought to bring Missouri into the United States as a free state. Normally, this probably would have gone smoothly like all other previous states had been approved. This time, it would prove to be different, however. Perhaps it was caused by the anger started by the panic, or perhaps tension over the issue finally reached the surface, but more and more the free and slave state divide was beginning to affect the nation. Missouri for the most part wished to enter the U.S. with slavery, and northern congressmen were for the most part decidedly against this. This split would create a rupture in the previous strong Liberty Party, and it was over this that the Liberty Party lost considerable ground in southern states like Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. There even was dissension in Madison's cabinet, with Treasury Secretary Nathaniel Macon and Attorney General Daniel Webster frequently getting into heated arguments about the subject, while Secretaries of State and War James Monroe and Henry Clay respectively tried to keep the peace. During this time, a movement was started to displace current speaker John W. Taylor of the Liberty Party with Democratic-Republican William J. Lowndes, with the Democratic-Republicans hoping enough dissatisfied Liberty Party members would vote their way to enable it to work. The motion would fail narrowly, although it would thoroughly humiliate Taylor.

John Taylor and William Lowndes
Eventually, the following compromise would be reached. Missouri would be allowed to enter the Union as a slave state, as most of its residents desired. To balance this in the eyes of free staters, however, the Maine territory would be detached from Massachusetts, and made into a free state. This compromise faced two major road bumps along the way, both of which nearly doomed the plan. First, when Vice-President Knox voiced his support for their plan, many Southerners would be quick to point out that Knox owned much land in Maine, and rapidly started a theory that the compromise had been engineered by Knox to increase the value of this land. It was only after a determined campaign against this, including Knox personally stating that he had played no role in crafting the compromise, that this was put to rest. Secondly, Taylor, who still remained a determined anti-slavery man, hoped to include a clause making a dividing line for slavery, with no slavery being allowed north of the Southern Missouri border. This would be fiercely attacked in Congress, and despite receiving the support of several people within the Madison administration, including Clay and Webster, Taylor failed to get it included. Although, to his credit, Taylor ensured that a provision that would have automatically guaranteed slavery in all points south of that line was not included either. This plan would ultimately pass, and a belated president Madison would sign it into law, hoping to settle the issue before he had to face re-election. Thus, the slavery issue was solved for the moment, but neither side was left happy with the result, and both were crafting plans for the future to further their cause.
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A map showing the line that Taylor proposed to divide free and slave territory, which would ultimately be rejected
During his presidency, Madison would have to appoint three new judges to the Supreme Court, all occurring in 1820. First, Associate Justice William Ellery would die on February 15, 1820. Madison was in the process of searching for his replacement when Associate Justice Levi Lincoln Sr. would die as well, passing away on April 14, 1820. Having already decided on one new justice, Thomas M. Randolph, a Virginia representative, former candidate for House Speaker, and son-in-law to Thomas Jefferson, Madison was thrown into a panic by Lincoln's death. Hoping to appoint a New Englander to replace Lincoln, who was from Massachusetts, Madison would ultimately decide on Joseph Story, a man whom he had previously only briefly considered. With both of his appointments approved, and the flurry of action over for the moment, Madison would enjoy his respite from nominating justices, only for it to reappear a few months later. Associate Justice Wilson C. Nicholas, a man who had been a friend to both Jefferson and Madison, passed away on October 10, 1820. Saddened by his death, Madison would take longer than usually to nominate a replacement justice. Eventually, he would put Martin Van Buren in as a replacement for Nicholas. As the 1820 election approached, Madison was uncertain of his chances for reelection. Nevertheless, he still held out hope for re-election.

Thomas Randolph, Joseph Story, and Martin Van Buren
Madison and his Cabinet:
President: James Madison
Vice-President: Henry Knox
Secretary of State: James Monroe
Secretary of the Treasury: Nathaniel Macon
Secretary of War: Henry Clay
Attorney General: Daniel Webster
Secretary of the Navy: Smith Thompson
 

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So, no territorial line separating free and slave states (which is bound to cause even more problems down the line that its existence in OTL), and Van Buren is on the Supreme Court, meaning he'll never be President. I miss any other changes?

Also, it'll be interesting to see if the Liberty Party survives the slavery issue intact, or splits apart over it.
 
So, no territorial line separating free and slave states (which is bound to cause even more problems down the line that its existence in OTL), and Van Buren is on the Supreme Court, meaning he'll never be President. I miss any other changes?

Also, it'll be interesting to see if the Liberty Party survives the slavery issue intact, or splits apart over it.
Nope, you hit all the major differences, there are a few other things, like Clay in the cabinet, and the bank being created slightly later, but you have hit all the major points.

(EDIT: One thing slipped my mind while writing this. The map of the above chapter is a depiction using modern U.S. borders ITTL.)
 
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Van Buren dies in the 1860s. I wonder if his presence on the court will result in a different ruling for Dred Scott (or its analog)?
 
So Texas stayed independent this timeline, as that map seems to suggest. I doubt its still part of Mexico seeing as everything else that transfered from Mexico to the United States OTL still switched over. If there is a civil war, which seems almost inevitable, Texas could be a haven for defeated Confederates, rapidly increasing their population and getting a lot of the more irreconcilable and millitant types out of the South.
 
Chapter Twenty-One: The Election of 1820
Chapter Twenty-One: The Election of 1820

While many issues were debated in the 1820 election, the Missouri Compromise featured most prominently, with this painting depicting a stump speech about it
Despite the hopes of many men that America would return to the prosper and peaceful days that existed before the War of 1813, this had proven to not be. Instead, America had entered into a new war. Not fought traditional arms and weapons, at least not yet, but rather with speeches, writing, and the occasional brawl. The issue that had seemingly irreconcilable between the two halves of the nation was slavery. Due to his failure to restore America to a similar climate as its past, Madison was unsure how the nation would respond to his attempt at a second term in office. He was well aware that many a Southerner's blood boiled red with anger due to his support of the Missouri Compromise. On the other hand, however, he did not believe that the Liberty Party had a candidate better than him, and at the urging of many members of his party and having received personal appeals to seek another term from the entirety of his cabinet minus Webster, he decided he would. He was easily renominated. Knox, however, decided he finally wanted to retire to private life, as he almost seventy, and had been deeply hurt by the accusations of having acted with partiality during the Missouri debates. As such, the vice-presidential role opened up. Many wanted who could appeal to Southerners on the ticket, such as Secretary of the Treasury Nathaniel Macon or President Pro Tempore William H. Crawford, but there was a large enough number of northerners and former Federalists in the caucus to prevent this. Their preferred man was Speaker John Taylor, or should that fail Associate Justice Martin Van Buren, as they believed Madison was enough representation for the South, and that the vice-president should be from the north. Madison's preferred candidate, Henry Clay, hardly received any consideration. In the end, it would be none of these men, however. It would ultimately be former senator from Massachusetts and current Ambassador to Great Britain John Quincy Adams. His support came from the supporters of Taylor and Van Buren, combined with a few men pulled together by the influence of Madison and Knox. Thus, the Liberty Party had their ticket.

James Madison and Quincy Adams
The Democratic-Republicans, meanwhile, had their own share of men interested in their presidential candidacy. Ultimately, the contest came down to three men: former Vice-President DeWitt Clinton, Virginia Representative Philip P. Barbour, and former House Speaker John C. Calhoun. Clinton represented for the most part the Northern men, as well as the supporters of his father-in-law Aaron Burr. Barbour, meanwhile, represented the more moderate Democratic-Republicans. On the opposite end of the scale to Barbour was Calhoun, who had backing of Southerners, and the men who had left the Liberty Party over the Missouri Compromise. Despite the possible support he could bring from disaffected Liberty Party members, many in the Democratic-Republican Party still felt uncomfortable with nominating Calhoun as their candidate, especially when it was revealed that he had discussed secession from the United States with some of his private friends. Nevertheless, Clinton was unable to gather enough support to defeat Calhoun, who was currently leading. As such, after much deliberation, Clinton decided to throw his support behind Barbour, if only to prevent Calhoun from gaining the nomination. With this endorsement, Barbour rocketed from third to first place, and managed to receive the nomination. For the vice-presidency, the convention would nominate former Kentucky Governor and general from the American Revolution Isaac Shelby, an old man who was not even aware he was being considered, but once informed he did nothing to stop it. Thus, the Democratic-Republicans also had completed their ticket.

Philip Barbour and Isaac Shelby
When the campaign season began, the main issue, unsurprisingly, proved to be the Missouri Compromise. Madison and his supporters had to defend the compromise, while also trying to bring back as many former members of the Liberty Party who had left them over the issue at the same time. Barbour, meanwhile, criticized the compromise and declared that the debate should have been left up to the Missourians, rather than the Federal Government. He also blamed reckless government spending on internal improvement and the national bank as the cause of the panic, while Madison touted them as the solution. Democratic-Republicans also appealed to Barbour's much younger age, and that he was the man of the time, rather than Madison, who was almost double his age. Madison, meanwhile, bashed Barbour as youthful and inexperienced. The Democratic-Republicans also tried to make Madison appear as a man only interested in the interests of the East Coast, rather than the burgeoning west. Ultimately, however, the slavery issue remained the most prominent and divisive.

An $1,000 bank note from the Second National Bank. At campaign rallies, Democratic-Republicans frequently burned these, decrying them as worthless
When the results came in, Madison had managed to win re-election, but the results were unsettling to him for the future of his party. He had secured 154 electoral votes from Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland, and Maine, while had only managed to win 79 electoral votes from Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama. Although his margin for electoral victory was wide, Madison was well aware that the popular vote was much closer. He was also worried about how some states that he expected to be safely in his camp, such as Ohio, Indiana, or Illinois, had gone for Barbour, with Illinois going for him by a particularly large margin. Madison feared that this did not bode well for the future of his party, as the West was only going to keep growing larger, and if the Democratic-Republicans could keep their solid hold on it, they could achieve a strangle hold on the presidency, as also had most of the South solidly behind them as well. For now, however, Madison had gotten re-elected, and he had to focus on his term to come.
 
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Presidency of James Madison, 1821-1825
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Presidency of James Madison, 1821-1825

President James Madison
With his reelection secured, Madison prepared for another four years in office, but he had changed since he had first entered the presidency. The man who had once been eager to dive into every issue and personally oversee many policies had succumbed into a much more tired, weary man. A common rumor that floated around the capital was that Madison had only agreed to be renominated because he expected to lose the election, and now that he had won another term, he might resign from office and allow John Quincy Adams take over. Madison decided to disavow these hearsay claims, and with the help of his popular wife Dolley, they were swept out of the front of the republic's papers and minds. Despite this, they would never fully be dissipated or forgotten, and as his four years in the presidency went by, it wouldn't uncommon for the story to reemerge again, at least on the local level.

Dolley Madison, President Madison's beloved wife and effective public relations manager
In light of the recent conflicts over slavery, Madison began looking into a solution to the problem that he correctly foresaw as the largest threat to his nation's stability in the years to come. He knew that direct abolitionist policy was certainly off the table, lest the nation rise up in outroar and the slave states secede from the Union. He also came to believe that depending on the states to act on abolishing slavery on their own time roughly the same as allowing the problem to fester, as he believed that there was little chance that even states in the Upper South would even consider this idea, let alone the Deep South. Eventually, he decided to back the solution supported by many of the Liberty Party's most prominent non-abolitionist members: the American Colonization Society. Created by Congressman Charles F. Mercer and Reverend Robert Finley in 1816, the society supported a plan of gradual emancipation, followed by returning the freed slaves to Africa, particularly the newly established country of Liberia. Although highly immoral by modern standards, many people at the time believed it to be a group of progress, and its membership would include many of the nation's most prominent leaders, including Chief Justice John Marshall, President Pro Tempore William Crawford, and former House Speaker John Taylor, as well as Monroe, Clay, and Webster within Madison's cabinet. Convinced of its worthiness, Madison himself would become a member and try to start a government initiative to provide funding to the group to transport to the former slaves to Africa, which was a recurring problem for them as they lacked much funding.

A membership certificate for the American Colonization Society
But what Madison had hoped to be an easy victory and a step down the road towards slavery's end quickly turned into a quagmire. Despite having in theory the necessary amount of support in both the Liberty Party controlled Senate and the Democratic-Republican controlled House, one man made it his mission to send it spiraling off the rails. That man would be John C. Calhoun. Despite it successfully passing in the Senate, and it looking to do the same in the House, Calhoun would work behind the scenes to go against it, even trying to undermine House Speaker Philip P. Barbour in his efforts to convince fellow Democratic-Republicans to vote in favor of the bill. Despite Calhoun's best efforts, however, the bill would still manage to pass, and Madison would sign it into law, but Calhoun's fight against it was not finished yet. Calhoun chaired and oversaw the House Ways and Means Committee, which handled government spending. Under Calhoun's supervision, the payments to the American Colonization Society would be few, far between, and often less money than Madison intended. A more active or vigorous president might have come down on Calhoun for this, but by now there was little fight left in Madison, and beside the occasional note or conversation with Calhoun asking him to increase payments, he did little to nothing on the matter, and ultimately the plan would wither on the vein, with the flow of money trickling to halt in 1825 after Madison left the presidency.

James Monroe, who often served as Madison's mouthpiece in discussions about the ACS, discussing the matter with U.S. congressmen
In the chaos and debates over the ACS, another issue had quietly entered the national scene, and discreetly managed to avoid gathering much attention from Madison. Ever since the War of 1813, the Seminole natives had increased their incursions into Georgia and other nearby territory, as away as turning a blind eye to members of their nation who were harboring escaped slaves from the U.S.. Major General Andrew Jackson, the man on the ground closest to the issue, requested permission from President Madison to stop these policies. Madison, focused more on the ACS debate, quickly granted Jackson the right to do what was necessary in order to bring an end to these issues. Jackson would then take advantage of his vague orders, and after driving out the Seminole raiders for U.S. territory, and managing to recapture dozens of escaped slaves, Jackson decided it was in the best interest of the nation to launch an invasion into the loosely garrisoned Spanish Florida, a land where most Seminoles claimed to live. Thus, Jackson started what could rapidly turn into an international incident. When Madison finally returned his attention to the Seminole issue, he was deeply distraught with Jackson's actions, and called a cabinet meeting. While Clay and Webster fiercely criticized Jackson's decision and its potential consequences, the majority of Madison's cabinet tacitly support Jackson, although they also admitted they should take rapid diplomatic action to avoid an international scandal. For the moment, Madison did not tell Jackson to recall his forces, but ordered them to stop advancing and sent in Major General William H. Harrison to take overall command of the situation.

A depiction of fighting in what became known as Jackson's Seminole War, the first of two conflicts between the U.S. and the Seminole natives
With war already raging between Jackson and the Seminoles and the Spanish territorial boundary having been violated, direct conflict between U.S. and Spanish forces had not occurred yet. Madison would dispatch a diplomatic mission to Madrid to handle to issue consisting Vice-President John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State James Monroe, and prominent Virginia attorney William Wirt. When they arrived, they were relieved to note that the issue held the focus of little of the Spanish population, and at first the Spanish government were not fully certain what they were there for. Once everything was made clear, diplomatic sessions began, and the following came as a result. With very little colonists actually living in Florida, and it being of little use to them, Spain agreed to sell all of the Florida Territory north of 28th line of longitude, approximately as far as the U.S. Army had advanced, in exchange for 5 million dollars, as well as the Spanish agreeing to better watch the Seminoles and their raids. With the crisis averted, the diplomatic team returned triumphantly to America. With this news, Madison, who had been considering a public reprimand or even court-martial for Jackson, decided to pursue neither of those actions. What had the potential to be a disaster had instead blossomed into an opportunity for American expansion which Madison was all too willing to exploit, even if he had not actively sought it out.

A map of Florida created slightly before Jackson's Seminole War
In the waning days of his presidency, Madison would have one more issue to handle. On June 10, 1824, Associate Justice Caesar A. Rodney would pass away, leaving his spot on the Supreme Court vacant. To replace him, Madison considered two prominent attorneys. First was William Wirt, a former congressman and part of the diplomatic mission that had secured northern Florida for the United States. The second man was Francis Scott Key, a Maryland attorney who was also known to be a fervent advocate of the ACS as well as being a member. After much thought and discussion with his cabinet and advisors, Madison ultimately settled on Key, as Rodney had been a Delaware man, and Maryland was closer to Delaware than Virginia in both geographic and cultural terms. Despite this, Madison would inform Wirt that when the next Supreme Court vacancy opened, he would have his full support for the nomination, which the disappointed Wirt accepted. With his eight years in office coming to a close, Madison made it clear that his career in politics was over. He merely hoped to retire home and live out the rest of his life in peace. He would make no endorsement or comment on who his successor should be, priming the Liberty Party for a hard fought caucus to decide the next leader of their party.

Francis Key​
 
So, what's the capital of Liberia called ITTL, since it's obviously not named for Monroe?

Will the US get the rest of Florida eventually, or is it going to be a separate entity?
 
So, what's the capital of Liberia called ITTL, since it's obviously not named for Monroe?

Will the US get the rest of Florida eventually, or is it going to be a separate entity?
ITTL, I don't know, but I am open to suggestions! As for Florida, the rest of it is going to be annexed into the U.S. eventually (as can be seen in the Missouri Compromise Map), but it will be much less peaceful than the northern half.
 
ITTL, I don't know, but I am open to suggestions! As for Florida, the rest of it is going to be annexed into the U.S. eventually (as can be seen in the Missouri Compromise Map), but it will be much less peaceful than the northern half.
The capital could be named after a future president who perhaps pours more money into it, or perhaps after the president who oversees the end of slavery. Or perhaps they would just name it Liberty or something like that. Just a few ideas off the top of my head.
 
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Election of 1824
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Election of 1824

A Massachusetts political cartoon attacking Calhoun for unwillingness to compromise on slavery
With Madison's refusing to run for a third term, a new age of American leaders had started. The founders of the nation were almost all dead or retired, and the mantle had passed to a new generation. As a result of this, there were still some growing pains in both parties as their old leaders shifted out, leaving the parties to decide the new ones. This was very much the case of the Liberty Party in 1824, who had 6 main candidates seeking the nomination originally. Two men who did not seek the nomination, much to the surprise of many, were Secretary of State James Monroe, who claimed he wished to return home and retire from politics, and Ohio Senator and General William H. Harrison, who was a hero to many in the nation due to wartime feats. With these two men out of the way, this left Vice-President John Q. Adams, Secretary of the Treasury Nathaniel Macon, Secretary of War Henry Clay, Attorney General Daniel Webster, President Pro Tempore William Crawford, and former Treasury Secretary and current 2nd National Bank president Albert Gallatin. Seeing the stiff competition and lacking the determination to undergo a difficult political battle, Gallatin would be the first to drop out. Webster would be the next when he realized he lacked a strong base of support, instead endorsing Quincy Adams. In the first round of balloting in the caucus, Adams would lead due to the influx of support from Webster, followed by Crawford, Clay, and Macon respectively. Not wanting Adams to receive the nomination, Macon would endorse Clay, which proved enough to push him to second place in the next round. Realizing that if he could gather Crawford's delegates to him, he could clinch the nomination, Clay promised Crawford the Secretary of State position in return for his endorsement, which Crawford accepted. With this, Clay was able to surpass Adams as secure the presidential nomination. For the vice-presidential nomination, Clay originally offered to allow Adams to stay on as vice-president, which Adams refused. After this, Clay would see to it that Webster received the nomination to secure the support of Adams' supporters.
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Henry Clay and Daniel Webster

Unlike the Liberty Party, the Democratic-Republicans would have a very easy time choosing who they would nominate for the presidency. By now, their party had a definite leader, and it was John C. Calhoun. In the beginning of the caucus, Calhoun easy swept up the presidential nomination, leaving up to debate only who would be his vice-president. Calhoun personally supported Alabama Senator William R.D. King, another radical slavery defender like himself. Politics, however, dictated that he should have northern running-mate, specifically a man of DeWitt Clinton's faction. This would lead to the nomination of New York Representative, and controversial War of 1813 general Stephen Van Rensselaer, who was known to be a close associate of Clinton. Thus, the short Democratic-Republican nominating caucus came to a close.

John Calhoun and Stephen Van Rensselaer
In the campaigning for this election, there was of course the issues of tariffs, which Clay supported and Calhoun opposed, as well as internal improvement and the national bank, but the dominating issue of the campaign was, as has been the last one, slavery. Calhoun positioned himself as the defender of slavery and its expansion, and he claimed that Clay and the Liberty Party were planning on first stopping slavery's spread, than abolishing it all together. This argument put Clay in a very difficult position. At the same time, he had to appeal to slave states and convince them that he wasn't planning on abolition or actively trying to stop slavery's spread, while also making it appear to northerners that he didn't favor the views of Southerners over their's, as increasingly the North was beginning to favor stopping slavery's spread, if mainly for economic, rather than moral reasons. While Clay was trying desperately to maintain this balancing act, his northern advocates would accidentally disrupt his efforts by publishing cartoons, editorials, and pamphlets where they lambasted Calhoun and slavery's expansion. Come election day, Clay was uncertain how many slave states, if any, he would carry. Calhoun also tried to appeal to the influx of new immigrants coming into the nation, although his efforts would mostly bring only small minimal gains. It would, however, be the first time a candidate tried to appeal to immigrants in a presidential race, although it would far from the last time.

Calhoun meeting with supporters
When the results came in, Clay had won the presidency by a decisive margin, 164 electoral votes to Calhoun's 97, but he was still worried. Clay had won Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Kentucky, Delaware, Maine, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio, while Calhoun secured Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, and Maryland. Clay's concern stemmed from the fact that several previous secure Liberty Party states, such as Virginia and Maryland, had gone for Calhoun, and not by close margins either. He, along with his fellow Liberty Party leaders, worried that if the Democratic-Republicans could manage to run some who could appeal to more of their states, now that the slave states were fairly firmly in their hands, then they could easily not only win the presidency, but hold on to it for several election cycles. All that Clay could do was hope that his party's voter base was secure, and do as well in the presidency as possible.
 
Clay vs Calhoun. Feels like an antebellum Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny.

So, the North-South divide is pretty clear at this point. Can't wait to see how things leading toward the Civil War play out, mostly because I'm worried TTL's equivalent of the Nullification Crisis will cause it to happen sooner.
 
Clay and Webster, both out of the legislative branch. Without them, perhaps the most influential voices in Congress are John Quincy Adams and Calhoun as opposed to the "triumvirate."
 
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Presidency of Henry Clay, 1825-1829
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Presidency of Henry Clay, 1825-1829

President Henry Clay
Coming into office, the always ambitious Henry Clay proved to be hampered from the start in many ways. From his dealings in the Liberty Party nominating caucus, his two most prestigious cabinet positions, the State and Treasury Departments, had already been decided, with them going to William Crawford and Nathaniel Macon respectively. Despite his party having control over the Senate, the House still remained in the hands of the Democratic-Republicans, led by their speaker Robert Y. Hayne, who had taken over from Calhoun after the latter had been elected to the Senate. Clay's own party was also far from united, with several factions having formed, mostly on a regional basis, but also sometimes centering around other issues. Even within his own cabinet, the factionalism showed clear, with at least two men in it, Crawford and Secretary of War William H. Harrison, desiring the presidency and often not seeing eye to eye with their commander-in-chief. All of this can help explain why the presidency of a man with so much potential ended up resulted in so little being done or accomplished.

William Crawford and Robert Hayne
Despite many odds being placed against him, Clay still preserved with his presidency, determined to fulfill his campaign promises, especially those of internal improvement. Under his administration, the Erie Canal was finally finished. Also under him, a survey of the East Coast of the United States was accomplished, known as the National Survey, which was used both on the national level by Clay and the state level by state officials to improve their harbors and docks, leading to an increase in economic prosperity, especially for the trade reliant New England states. This would lead Southern Democratic-Republicans under Calhoun and Hayne to accuse Clay of having acted in the best interests of states that supported him, a claim that Clay would virulently deny yet would still firmly attach to him in Southern states. Also under Clay, the federal government would set aside more money for improvements to the Library of Congress, as well more money for the purchase of new books. The case of Clay's bias can perhaps better be made with Clay's improvements to western states, especially Kentucky, where saw to it that many new post offices, roads, and other government buildings such as public schools or libraries were created, leading to more justified criticism of Clay, even from the northern, DeWitt Clinton faction of the Democratic-Republicans, who normally supported Clay on the issue of internal improvement. Nevertheless, Clay's presidency would see federal spending on internal improvement brought to a level that would not be matched for decades.

A modern photograph of some of the surveying equipment used during the National Survey
Another issue that would start to rise under the Clay presidency would be that of Native American affairs and land. As more and more settlers pushed west, conflicts with the Native Americans living there grew, and soon the issues became of enough note that for the federal government would have to handle it. Personally, Clay, like his predecessors Jefferson and Madison, preferred a policy of assimilation, or convincing the Natives to become small scale farmers like many of their neighbors. He promoted this policy by giving Natives farming tools and supplies as gifts, rather than the more traditional weapons or jewelry. This policy did not sit well with Native American culture which valued male masculinity, which was best expressed, in their opinion, by being a successful warrior. The women, who tended the crops, also did not want to abandon their farming traditions or let inexperienced men join them. Aside from the Natives themselves, Clay also faced opposition to this policy from Congress, and even within his own party, who wanted military action to be taken. This would be led by Missouri Senator Thomas H. Benton, who despite being a Liberty Party member still held some views similar to the Democratic-Republicans. He would be joined by John Calhoun and Alabama Senator William R.D. King in opposition to Clay's policy. Support for it would be headed up by John Q. Adams, who had returned to his Massachusetts Senate seat in 1826, as well as newly elected congressman Representative Davy Crockett of Tennessee, which brought the frontiersman into the national spotlight for the first time in his long and illustrious career. Ultimately, facing stiff opposition, Clay would decide to not try and force an official government policy through Congress, and rather leave it to presidential initiative to handle Native affairs, much to the irritation of almost everyone involved.
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Thomas Benton, William King, Quincy Adams, and Davy Crockett
The issues of what to do about the Natives would not be the only thing to shake Clay's presidency towards the end of his term. As Clay had expected when appointing William Henry Harrison as his Secretary of War, the move had only served to stroke the latter's presidential ambitions. In the wake of the turmoil of Clay's indecision over Native affairs, the two men, already somewhat competing and viewing each other as rivals to their ambition, broke out into an open argument, the likes of which had not been seen in the entirety of Clay's presidency. Harrison would lampoon Clay for his weak handling of the matter and attempts at Native appeasement as Harrison belonged to the faction of the party supporting decisive, military action, while Clay would attack Harrison as a warmonger who had overstepped the bounds of his office in criticizing the president's handling of it. The fight would ultimately end with Harrison resigning from Clay's cabinet and promising to challenge him in the upcoming 1828 Liberty Party nominating caucus before storming out of the room. Clay would replace Harrison with Representative Peter B. Porter of New York, another War of 1812 veteran, but who certainly had less acclaim or fame than Harrison, having served on the Quebec front.
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William Harrison and Peter Porter
During his time in office, Clay would get to appoint one man to the Supreme Court. This would occur following the death of Associate Justice Thomas M. Randolph on June 20, 1828. To replace him, Clay would appoint his Attorney General William Wirt to the vacancy, and replace him in the attorney general role with Richard Rush. This would prove to be one of the few easy accomplishments of Clay's presidency, as Wirt was respected by almost all, and only the Democratic-Republican diehards voted against his appointment when it was brought before the Senate. By 1828, it was clear that the presidency had visibly aged Henry Clay, and much of the youth and vigor that had defined him as a young congressman had been lost in exchange for a better and more realistic understanding how the government and the presidency functioned. In his role in that office, he had proved to be much less successful and popular than his three Liberty Party predecessors, and many believed that the 1828 election was the Democratic-Republican's to win, if they could play their cards right.
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William Wirt and Richard Rush
Clay and his Cabinet:
President: Henry Clay
Vice-President: Daniel Webster
Secretary of State: William H. Crawford
Secretary of the Treasury: Nathaniel Macon
Secretary of War: William H. Harrison (1825-1827), Peter B. Porter (1827-1829)
Attorney General: William Wirt (1825-1828), Richard Rush (1828-1829)
Secretary of the Navy: Samuel L. Southard
 
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Clay gets to be President but doesn't get much done? Shame.

Liking his rivalry with Harrison, though. Looking forward to seeing how that affects the next election.
 
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