That he does so without neglecting America's role in world affairs and particularly the growing economic rivalry with Great Britain, nor without minimizing the parts played by the leading actors on the national stage, attests the balanced judgment and sense of proportion that are evident throughout the volume. It is the confrontation of American economic nationalism with the Liberal Toryism of Lord Liverpool and William Huskisson that this book delineates with exceptional brilliance and depth. Dangerfield, a master craftsman, skillfully weaves many different threads into one magnificent tapestry.
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Henry Clay promoted a system, known as the American System, which entailed government expenditures to promote the development of national infrastructure, paid by a protective tariff.