AP U.S. History
Period 4 LEQ
January 17, 2015
Period 4 LEQ
LEQ Question: Political parties contributed to the development of national unity in the United States between 1790 and 1840. Support, modify, or refute this assertion, providing specific evidence to justify your answer.
A few decades after America won its freedom, unity was much desired amongst populous. Disunity usually occurs with two people or parties with different points of view, value systems, or class opinion clash; that is exactly what took place in the early 19th century America. Political parties hindered the development of national unity in the United States between 1790 and 1840 because of party polarity and sectionalism. Firstly, upon ratification of the Constitution, the Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrats parties established their footing in the American political system. These two parties divided the nation into northern ideals and southern Jefferson based ideals that were very different. Due to this political disunity, sectional interest arose rather than national interest as observed in the 1828 "tariff abomination.” Secondly, the two parties catered to different groups of people. The Democrats preferred the farmers and artisans while the Federalists favored aristocrats and merchants. The Democrats argued that Hamilton unceasingly tied the government to business, instead of promoting small agrarian farming. Mainly, the more upper-class New England merchants and aristocrats of the North followed Hamilton who established a strong economic policy with trading ties whereas the low and middle class farmers and artisans of the South followed Jefferson. This caused sectionalism amongst the classes and regions which certainly did not promote party unity. In conclusion, through political polarity and sectionalism amongst the classes and regions the political parties hindered the unity of America. This disunity festered and metastasized into economic and