Henry Clay was an American politician from Kentucky, who served in the Kentucky State Legislative, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Clay was an advocate of the “American System”. In addition to his support for the American System, Clay was well known as a skilled politician, orator and one of the men behind the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850.
This new kind of federalism involved support for high tariffs on foreign goods (a way of protecting American industry and producing revenue), selling federal lands at high prices, support for the Bank of the United States (to maintain stability in the banking industry).
In addition, Clay believed that internal improvements (canals, river improvements, and roads), funded by high tariffs, would create a stronger industrial economy and stronger connections within the nation.
Henry Clay Resource Guide at The Library of Congress.