Henry Clay: Speech on South American Independence

(1820)

In Henry Clay's Speech on South American Independence, the U.S. congressman advocates for his resolution to send a diplomatic mission to South America. The Spanish American wars of independence against Spanish rule took place during the early decades of the nineteenth century, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. French occupation of Spain began to weaken Spain's hold over its colonies, providing an opening for nationalist revolutions in the Americas. Clay proved to be a great supporter of their cause, arguing that South America's political future was of greater importance to the...

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Henry Clay (Library of Congress)

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