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Clay and Jackson cartoon
This 1834 lithograph by David Claypool Johnson shows Kentucky senator Henry Clay sewing President Andrew Jackson's mouth shut. Jackson's fight to destroy the Bank of the United States and his removal of the Treasury secretary led to the Senate's censure of Jackson for abuse of presidential power. Jackson argued that the president, as the only representative of all the people, should rule supreme. Congress did not agree.

At the heart of the debate (led by Clay, among others) was the struggle between the executive branch and the legislature over which branch should dominate the government. That struggle continues today, whichever political party is in office. Courtesy of Library of Congress



 Miniature portrait of Henry Clay by J. W. Dodge, 1843
 Straw hat belonging to Senator Henry Clay
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