How Accurate Is the Label "Era of Good Feelings"?

Topics: John Quincy Adams, United States, Henry Clay Pages: 3 (1163 words) Published: January 1, 2012
Prior to the war of 1812, the United States was riddled with domestic political conflicts between the Federalist and Republican parties and diplomatic conflicts with Britain and France. The Federalist and Republicans’ opinions differed in every subject and diplomatic policies against Britain and France divided the nation. At one point, disunion was so apparent that during the Hartford Convention in 1814, New England almost seceded from the Union. After the war of 1812, from 1815 to 1825, some Historians claimed that the nation embraced an Era of Good Feelings due to the destruction of the Federalist Party (but not its ideas) and the numerous nationalistic improvements. However, a better name for the post war years of 1815 to 1825 is an Era of Mixed Feelings because although there were improvements stimulated by nationalism, there were also conflicts created by sectionalism.

After the war of 1812, the people of the United States felt enormous pride in winning a war against the almighty Britain and used their nationalism to inspire improvements. Beginning with James Monroe’s election in 1816, Monroe (Republican) won the election with an outstanding ratio of 183 electoral votes to his opponent Rufus King’s (Federalist) 34 votes. Then in 1820, Monroe had no formidable opponent and acquired every vote expect, thus marking the end of the Federalist Party. The nation was more untied than the pre-war era due to the emergence of the National Republican Party which had a hybrid of both Federalist and Republican beliefs. During Monroe’s presidency, the Monroe Doctrine was created and Florida became U.S. territory, both of which bolstered U.S. supremacy in the Western Hemisphere. In 1819, the U.S. acquired Florida from Spain for $5 million, which basically secured U.S. power in North America. Then in 1823, the Monroe Doctrine constituted U.S. supremacy in the Western Hemisphere by stating that European powers have no right to interfere in Western affairs, and are not...
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