Title

The forms and limits of prudence in Henry Clay's (1850) defense of the compromise measures

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1995

Publication Title

Quarterly Journal of Speech

Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

In this essay, Henry Clay's rhetorical performance during the 1850 compromise debate is read as an exercise in prudential action. The intent is to offer a grounded critical reading of the discursive instantiation of prudence. The essay argues that Clay both employs a particular idiom and enacts a particular form of prudential conduct: prudential accommodation. The rhetorical forms and practical limits of this prudential idiom are explored. This exploration kelps disclose an alternative prudential idiom—prudential audacity—within the Anglo?American republican tradition.

ISSN

0033-5630