United States and Good Feelings Essay

Submitted By alexfox221
Words: 890
Pages: 4

Laurel Darling
Alexis Fox
Alicia Judd Despite the label typically given by historians to the period after the war of 1812, evidence suggests that “The Era of Good Feelings” actually brought about political and social division through sectionalism and nationalism. Despite warnings from Congress about the dangers of sectionalism and many supporters of a unified nation, sectionalism was an all too common theme. The Nationalism that came through the people after this era is what supported them as a nation in WWI but before the joining together there was mass separation which caused the Civil War
Prominent members of congress and the government all gave warnings about the dangers of sectionalism. In Document A, John Randolph spoke against unequal taxing, saying that “The agriculturalists bear the whole brunt of the war and taxation, and remain poor, while the others run in the ring of pleasure, and fatten upon them.” As a member of congress, John Randolph was likely a member of the latter group. This could have created bias among both himself and the other members of congress, leading to the original decision to create somewhat unequal taxation in the first place. Document B is similar, as
John C. Calhoun is also speaking against the lack of union in the United States, by suggesting building roads and canals. Both documents are attempts to increase the level of unity and nationalism in the country by convincing Congress to make changes in the government. Finally, Document C is a letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Randolph about slavery and how hypocritical it is that the government emphasizes freedom and equality for all men while holding slaves. In the document, the sentence, “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 irritation will mark it deeper and deeper.” is explaining the differences of opinions evident in the North and South about slavery which will eventually lead to the Civil
War. All three documents are showing how the Era of Good Feelings, may have actually been a time period of disunion and separation for the US. Many people of the government agreed with nationalism because people would begin to have pride for their country and help others around them. While John Randolph spoke out against sectionalism he also showed support for nationalism. “WIth my goodwill, sir, [no] one interest in the country [should be] sacrificed by the management of taxation to another.” (DOC A) He was showing an interest in the whole country because he was a significant figure of the government. This time was not a “Era of Good Feelings” this was an era of struggles against the individual and the whole people. Most government officials supported nationalism because it is much more simple than supporting the individual states. John Adams spoke of President Monroe separating from Great Britain to support nationalism more fully because people will be able to recognize that the US can manufacture and sell to Great Britain. Because this was his diary most people did not know what he thought of the Monroe doctrine. (DOC F) Although Monroe wanted to show that we can support ourselves it did not work because the people only realized that we need
Britain for manufactured goods. Because of the increases of sectionalism and the fear of it, nationalism began to be widely