Era of Good Feelings

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The Era of Good Feelings and Transformation of American Politics

With the War of 1812 concluded as a stalemate through the Treaty of Ghent, America turned its focus off the foreign policy main frame for a while and instead centered on the domestic agenda. The aftereffects of the War of 1812 were initially great indeed; the decision of antebellum status quo disgraced the Federalist Party by displaying their lack of any gain from the war. Further worsening the Federalists’ cause, news of the Hartford Convention surfaced, revealing the party’s near secession from the Union due to war-related hardships New England faced. The party disintegrated, and the once bitter bi-partisan feud between the Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrats abated, leaving the Democrats the sole victors. This period of time where only one party remained was known as the Era of Good Feelings; it marked a feel good time where American’s rejoiced at the fact that they were not crushed by the mighty British and that political tensions were relieved. However, one is not to be fooled by the “feel good” aspect of the time – the Era of Good Feelings marked the forefront of the major issues regarding slavery and sectionalism that transformed American politics for the next two decades. The Era of Good Feelings was merely a stage upon which the domestic troubles and triumphs of the time played out upon, in an era consisting of a balance of problems and solutions. In the aftermath of the War of 1812, all was good and well. However, growing issues were forming between the North and South, and the West as well. Sectionalism took hold during Monroe’s presidency, separating the North, South, and West, each with different ideals and practices. The Abolitionist North opposed the pro-slavery South, but the topic of slavery took hold in a greater dispute regarding economic instances. The Northern states opposed slavery because of its moral wrongdoings, but that belief masked a further opposition: economic...
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