The Era of Good Feeling: American Nationalism and Sectionalism

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The Era of Good Feeling is used to express the national mood of the united states during the time periods 1815-1825. During this time there was a wide seperation between the north and south. The reason its called “The Era of Good Feeling” is because during this time it was the only political party was Democratic-Republicans. Federalist were there biggest opponets to them by the federalist breaking off due to the alleged acts of treason during 1814-1815 Hartfoed convection and siding with the British rather the French during the war of 1812, By Britain having a negiative effect towards America by not letting them trade with france, they started having anti-British mindsets and had anti-federalist mentalities. When all the Americans turned on the Federalist the party quickly went away, and leaving Democratics-Republicans in charge of the government. Though nationalism increased during The Era of Good Feeling, sectionalism had more of an impact to the economics and the politics of the period by the seperate of northern and southern economics policies and political issues that happened during this time period.

Through out this time Nationalism has had a impact on the nation based these two documents show how nationalism has greater importance in economics in document 4 it states “A remedy consists in modifying our foreign policy, and in adopting a genuine American system…We must naturalize them by the only means which the wisdom of nations has yet discovered to be effectual- byadequate protection against the otherwise overwhelming influence of foreigners…The sole object of the tariff, to tax the produce of foreign industry.” The text shows since trading is a big way to make more money off of foreign industrys. By this problem happening foreign industry’s are seeking help defend them against big corporations that benifit from globalism. Its promotes protectionism and other trade policies that protect industries. Another quote that shows how nationalism had a greater importance in the economic part of the nation is in document 7 it shows “Votes on the Tariff of 1816 in the U.S house of representatives.” In the chart is shows the data from each region that is for tariff and against it, It also shows the total score at the bottom that shows how majority of the regions were for the tariff and proceeded to go through with it throughout the whole nation.

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Nationalism throughout time also had greater importance in this time by document 1 stating “Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!” This quote shows even if their country is dreadful and rough people will still support and stand by their country no matter what. Another document that shows the importances of nationalism is document 2. It states “Flag of free heart’s hope and home, by angle hands to valor given; thy stars have lit the welkin dome, and all the hues were born in heaven! Forever float that standard sheet! Where breathes the foe but falls before us? With freedom’s soil beneath our feet, and freedom’s banner streaming o’er us?” This shows how this poem represents how nationalism played a big role in how people saw their country as a place everyone would want to live and protect.

Sectionalism is ones loyalty to one’s own region or section of the country,rather than to the country as a whole. During this time the Northerns were more industrial in nature meaning business and industry play a big role through out their lifestyle. Meanwhile in the South it was primarliy agricultural, by haveing big families and having a more laid back life style due to the farmers not doing the work, by using slaves to produce tobacco and cotton for cheap labor. In document 5 it shows how makeing the Missouri Compermise is a good idea for the other states but can also hurt others. In the text it states “I have favored this Missouri Compromise, believing it to be all that could be effect under the present consitution, and from extreme unwillingness to put the union at hazard…persisted in the restriction upon Missouri, till it should have terminated in a convention of states to revise and amend the constitution…a new union of thirteen or fourteen states unpolluted with slavery, with a great and glorious object to effect: namely that of rallying to their standard the other states by the universal empancipation of their slaves.” This texts shows how the Missouri Compromise was meant to help create balance between the non-slave states and slave states, but only made this worse. By the slaves having their freedom due to the Missouri Compromise, the farmers lost a lot of their workers and they are making less money due to the less amount of workers. Causing economic issuies during this time period.

Another exsample that sectionalism had a big impact on nations is in document 6 stating “ you have been so kind tosend me of the letter to you constituents on the Missouri question…I considered it at once as the knell of the union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment…A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irriation will mark it deeper and deeper.” In the text it explains how The Missouri Compromise was turned down due to what it could do to the nation. Since The Missouri Compromise was looked at as unconstitutional, and slavery and anti-slavery supporters quickly went into the territory to vote for approval or against the pratice. Due to this led to a massacre known as Bleeding Kansas and also promt itself into the beginnings of the American Civil War.

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