AP US 3rd
Jeffersonian Era – DBQ
The period between 1815 and 1825 was inaccurately dubbed the “Era of Good Feelings.” Despite the relatively low political opposition and boom of westward expansion and economy, bigger problems such as the economic bust as well as the differing beliefs of northern and southern states threatened the strength and unity of the nation during this time. After the war of 1812, the surge of nationalistic feelings took place, but, simultaneously, there were underlying forces of sectionalism.
Economic and demographic expansion led to a positive, nationalistic view of the “Era of Good Feelings,” but also had its setbacks. As John C. Calhoun- a US representative who suggested the idea of federal funding for internal improvements- stated in 1817, “We are great, and rapidly- I was about to say fearfully- growing. This is out price and danger, our weakness and our strength.” One cause of this rapid growth was high foreign demands for American farm goods in 1819 due to the agricultural disruption Napoleon’s excursions were causing in Europe. While this sudden demand increase led to territorial expansion, it also dropped crop prices significantly and caused the US Bank to give out less loans, credit, and mortgages, causing an economic bust. Another nationalistic contributor to the “Era of Good Feelings” was the growth of white settlement and trade in the west. Depicted by John Krimmel, American citizens’ festivities during the Fourth of July ceremony in 1819 clearly show that strong nationalistic awareness of the time. If one observes the density of population in 1820, it is clear that there is a surge of westward expansion into the Old Northwest and Old Southwest- especially after Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in 1803. With Jackson’s victory in the Seminole War and the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819, Florida was now a US territory. All of these economic and demographic expansions added to the ‘good feelings’ during...
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