Americans You Should Know About: Henry Clay vs. James Polk and the Importance of the Election of 1844
Professor of History Emeritus George Drake
George Drake, emeritus professor of history at Grinnell College, will present the final lecture in the fall series of Bucket Course classes. He will speak on “Americans We Should Know More About: Henry Clay vs. James Polk and the Importance of the Election of 1844.” The class will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 20, in the Community Room of the Drake Community Library. There is no charge, and advance registration is not required. Drake says the election of 1844 was one of the most momentous in American history, pitting Whig Henry Clay against Democrat James K. Polk. Polk’s very narrow victory led to the Mexican War (opposed by Clay) and the acquisition of the future states of California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and part of New Mexico. The annexation of Texas also was completed under Polk. The struggle over the future of these territories exacerbated the conflict between the slave and free states hastening the explosion of this conflict into the Civil War, according to Drake. The course will focus on the politics of the first half of the nineteenth century and the development of the Whig Party under Clay, which by the 1850s would evolve into the Republican Party in the North. Because the contrast between Clay and Polk was so stark, the course will also examine their very different policies and personalities... Drake, who is also president emeritus of Grinnell College, has taught numerous Bucket Courses in the past. The winter series of Bucket Courses will begin in January. The lectures are part of the Grinnell Community Education Council.
A listing of previous Bucket Courses and the links to videos of them may be browsed at ARCHIVES/PREVIOUS COURSES in the menu at the top of this page.
To access videos of Bucket Classes on the Community Education Council's YouTube channel directly, please click on the following link: