United States and Good Feelings Essay

Submitted By alexfox221
Words: 877
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…