Era of Good Feelings Essay

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Although the post War of 1812 surge in nationalism pulled the nation together as patriotic celebrations of Independence Day and Andrew Jackson’s victory in the Battle of New Orleans spread across the country and reduced the focus on sectional or regional topics , labeling the period of time, 1815-1825, as an “Era of Good Feelings” is only slightly accurate due to the ugly reality that sectionalism actually continued and increased, political debate continued to splinter the nation despite there only being one political party, and the economic struggles created new problems.

The united celebrations following the War of 1812 and the unification of the country under one political party, the Democratic-Republicans gave the illusion that the era was “good,” but upon closer examination it is revealed that sectional conflict continued and actually increased over issues such as slavery. Under the Constitution, slave importations ceased prior to the war as part of the compromise regarding slavery and the 3/5 compromise, however demand for slaves increased as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and the expansion of the cotton south increased the institution as well as increased the conflict over whether or not slavery should be able to expand as the country expanded westward into the Louisiana Territory. In 1820, the tension was temporarily resolved with the Missouri Compromise which allowed Missouri to enter the nation as a slave state and Maine as a free state. This retained the balance of power between slave and free states by keeping the number equal, however with the expansion of slavery
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