• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

The Era of Good Feelings

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Although the years between 1816 and 1826 are commonly known as, "the Era of Good Feelings," ("The Era of Good Feelings (1816-1828)"), they were also years during which the seeds of political sectionalism and the reincarnation of the two party system were sown. Following Jefferson's presidency, the Federalist party dissolved and the Democratic-Republicans rose to be the dominant political power of the time. As the Democratic-Republican party grew in strength, it became more diversified and assimilated former members of the Federalist party. Eventually, as the party developed, it changed its name to the National Republicans or just the Republicans (The Cartoon History of the United States 121). Despite this display of national spirit and solidarity, the country was slowly being divided from the inside. (The Cartoon History of the United States "The Era of Good Feelings (1816-1828)") Reference to this period as the Era of Good Feelings is a misnomer. Although. There was only one party, it was highly fragmented as a result of emerging regional, economic, ideological, and sociological differences. These divisions were, however, masked by an overall feeling if nationalism and progressiveness. The nation was pulled together by a sense of pride in its accomplishments and rise to international respect, while being torn apart by the growing disparities between the economies of the different regions and the widening rift between the wealthy elite and the common man. ("The Era of Good Feelings (1816-1828)" The Young Readers Companion to American History) This period is better described as a progressive era. Despite of the growing rifts in the ideologies of America's politicians, much was achieved during the twelve years that comprise the Era of Good Feelings. This progress, however, upheld the facade of national and political unity. The government of this time did manage to enact new public works acts, gain new territories, the partially de-fortify the American-Canadian Border, and achieve the temporary settlement of the slavery issue. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, it was settled that slavery would not be allowed to continue in the territories north of the 36? 30' latitude line ("Missouri Compromise 1820"). This agreement, although well thought out, was not the solution to the slave problem that was hoped for, rather, it perpetuated the dispute between members of the National Republicans and led to a greater sense of sectionalism. ("Alabama" "Missouri Compromise" "Missouri Compromise" "Missouri Compromise 1820") The Missouri Compromise highlighted the differences within the Republican party and was a precursor to a change in American politics. The nation was slowly dividing into two distinct camps, those that favored the southern agrarian, slave holding economy and those that preferred to move the nation in a more industrial direction and favored the abolition, or at least the limiting, of slavery (The American Pageant 247). Also, as was the case during the first few years as a nation, the two camps were also divided on the issue of states rights. Those who favored the Southern life held strong belief in state's rights whereas the pro-Northern factions seemed to recognize the necessity of a strong central government to the life of the nation. Into this situation stepped the brazen, headstrong, and idealistic Andrew Jackson (Axelrod 98). (The American Pageant What Every American Should Know About American History) Andrew Jackson, a westerner, was a new type of politician. He was born in the Wexhaw Creek region of South Carolina, bordering North Carolina, on March 15, 1767 ("Andrew Jackson"). A child of the frontier, he was the product of hardship. From an early age, Jackson was accustomed to having to fight for what he needed. He was nine at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and by the time he was fourteen he was a wounded veteran. During the war, his mother and two brothers were killed and he nearly starved to death. As a boy, he was held prisoner by an English officer. ...read more.

Conclusion

("Tennessee's Andrew Jackson and the Expansion of Democracy" The American Pageant) When Election Day 1828 arrived, it was no surprise to anyone that Jackson emerged as the victor. The emotions of the people, be it anger, admiration, patriotism, or joy over the idea of having a fellow common man in office had overshadowed the issues of the times. Jackson's campaign brought about a new form of politics. It reestablished the two party system in America and highlighted the importance of emotions in elections. Jackson's popularity reelected him in 1832 and carried him through to the mid-1830s. During this time the Whigs evolved from the National Republicans, and numerous smaller parties, to become Jackson's strongest opponents (United States History 192). Regardless, in 1836 Jackson passed the torch to his hand picked successor, Martin Van Buren. Van Buren's term in office was marred by difficulties, it was marked by economic depression, high unemployment, and numerous border disputes, in both Canada and Mexico (Newman 192). (United States History) Throughout the 1840s, beginning with Van Buren's second run for president, the emotions of the people once more came into play. Capitalizing on the campaign precedent set in the 1828 election, the Whigs selected William Henry Harrison who, as observed by Thomas Bailey: ...was nominated primarily because he was issueless and enemyless - and a most unfortunate precedent was thus set. John Tyler of Virginia, and after thought, was selected as his vice-presidential running mate. (Bailey 294) Van Buren lost to Harrison who had acted out a truly Jacksonian role to perfection. Playing off the feelings of the nation, he falsely portrayed himself as a common man, born in a log cabin and a lover of hard cider while calling Van Buren an elitist. (The American Pageant) With the emergence of the new two party system during this era, political campaigns devolved from issue oriented platforms to arenas replete with emotional symbolism. As stated by David M. Kennedy: ...the blatant bunkum and silly slogans set an unfortunate example for future campaigns. Democracy calls for hard thinking, not hard cider; for dignity, not delirium. (Kennedy 295-296) (The American Pageant) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    The beginning of 1978 was marked by a series of bloody incidents between the Syrians and the Lebanese Forces and at one point Bashir Gemayel was arrested at a Syrian Army check point in Ashrafieh. February 7, 1978 saw a clash take place between the Lebanese Army and the Syrian

  2. Analysis of Political Cartoons

    to "spread liberal democracy throughout the world" (Smith, 2000: 38). Smith (2000) proposes this is an intellectual activity to justify US imperialism. The concept of manifest destiny is important, as it was the ideological basis behind America's rise to world superpower and hegemony.

  1. The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now

    The Deer Hunter really hit home for the American public. The post-war issues that the characters were going through were very similar, if not identical, to what many of them were experiencing themselves.

  2. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    Deciding to start afresh and fashion a new national government independent of, and superior to, the states, the delegates made a crucial decision: the nation's source of sovereignty was to lie in the people directly, not in the existing states.

  1. History of the United States

    Colonial land companies looked covetously to that frontier. The French, foreseeing a serious threat to their fur trade with the Indians, acted decisively. In 1749 they sent an expedition to reinforce their claim to the Ohio Valley and subsequently established a string of forts there.

  2. Select and explain the most important turning points in Senator Joe McCarthy's political career

    The rifle was registered to one A. Hiddel, the same name that Oswald carried in his wallet on a fake I.D. The rifle had been bought through a mail order company, which leads us to wonder why he would do such a thing when he could very easily have walked into any Texan gun shop and bought a rifle with no chance of being traced.

  1. The month of August in the year of 1991 marked the beginning of a ...

    From direct military interventions in Iraq, Somalia, and Bosnia to diplomatic maneuverings in Zaire, Iran, Sudan, Rwanda, and Burundi to virtual ignorance in Taijikistan, Afghanistan, and Georgia, the United States has not established itself in the new world order (Grammy 5).

  2. American History.

    They felt that under Britain rule, they would have more religious freedoms, keep their money safer, keep their way of life. Many people had been given land by Great Britain and didn't want to lose it. 13. US position with regard to the French Revolution - In 1789 most Americans

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work