The Era of Good Feelings marked a period in the political history of the United States that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity among Americans in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. This Era was the primary consequence from the war of 1812. The war caused an end to the Federalist Party After the Hartford Convention in 1815, which ultimately led to a one party system in America in which the Democratic-Republican Party was the sole party. The “Era of Good Feelings”, is an inaccurate label due to the overwhelming separation within the nation (sectionalism), the issue of slavery, and the exclusive behavior brought out by nationalism.
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Sectionalism was very apparent during the Era of Good Feelings. It is the excessive or narrow-minded concern for local or regional interests as opposed to the interests of the Nation as a whole. Congress should only have the power to regulate commerce, not raise taxes on duties in order to raise revenue (document A). Because of this Farmers were becoming poor while manufactures were becoming rich. The Tariff of Abominations (1816) was the tariff that protected American manufacturing from British competition.
Rapid industrialization can lead to the division of the North, South, and West Building more transportation (roads and canals). They believed that uniting the regions together would bring about nationalism (document B). One factor that influenced this would be the American System, which was created by Henry Clay, and it called for tariffs to protect domestic industries and fund internal improvements of the Eerie canal and was built on states expense. Higher population in the north due to industry and immigration (document E). The economy was greater in the north because of the population, which caused tension with the south because their economy wasn’t as industrious.
Slavery was also a key factor that causes the Era of Good Feeling to have an inaccurate label. Throughout this time period slavery was more crucial than ever due to the outbreak of cotton and the need for labor to get it picked and processed. TheMissouri Compromise divided the Free states from the slave states (document F).
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This document involved the fear of a permanent disunion. Every disagreement and argument will make the separation much deeper and permanent in the two sides disagreements. People were actually trying to help free the slaves and trying tohelp them escape (document G). However, many people that tried to help them escape were caught and held in jail. One result of the slavery would be Nat Turner’s Rebellion. Nat Turner led a rebellion that killed the most white American slave owners caused by any slave rebellion up to that point.
The rise of Nationalism was also very apparent during the “Era of Good Reason”. The 1820 and 1824 elections between the Democratic- Republican Party and the Federalist Party were considered to have a favored candidate (document I). This was known as the corrupt bargain and caused problems in the internal government for a couple of years.
Many people were proud of America during this time period due to their recent victory in the war of 1812 and the recent election (document C). The states importance was also key to the Nation’s success. This brought about the second bank of the United States, which helped relieve the debt and foreclosure following War of 1812. This caused the people of the Nation to feel importance and have a role within their State (document D).
Although the “Era of good Feeling” was an essential part in America’s history; many people do not realize the inaccuracy of this label. When it comes to this time period people think that America was undergoing a Period of peace and prosperity with no outside threats. People also think that it was an easy time for the country and allowed U.S. to grow. All of this is true to some extent except for that fact that many Historians overlook the fact that there were things that made this label invalid.
An overwhelming separation within the nation, the constant issue of slavery, and the exclusive behavior brought out by nationalism were the three main reasons why this Era isn’t what people think it to be, in fact it is just like any other time in Americas History – Only viewed at through the positives and overlooked when it comes to the negatives.See More on War