Era of Good Feelings (1816-1825)
Questions: Evaluate the accuracy of the label "Era of Good Feelings" considering the emergence of nationalism and sectionalism. Was it truly an "Era of Good Feelings"
Due to Andrew Jackson's victory in New Orleans
Belief that U.S. won a second "War of Independence" against Britain -- without France's help
Stephen Decatur's victory in the Barbary Coast punishing Algiers.
Star-Spangled Banner (written by Francis Scott Key during War of 1812)
Fourth of July celebrations popular after 1812
Courts (with Chief Justice John Marshall) ruled on decisions unanimously
Transportation revolution united east and west
Valued independence and self-reliance (see transcendentalists)
Cool, sober, hardworking and devious (according to Thomas Jefferson)
No or little slavery north of Mason-Dixon line
Federalists in New England and NY against War of 1812 (largely died out after war)
Saw themselves as aristocratic
Valued personal relationships.
Fiery and voluptuary (that is, devoted to luxury), lazy and generous (according to Jefferson)
Depended on slavery (especially after invention of cotton gin in 1793)
ONE PARTY RULE AFTER WAR OF 1812
Political harmony: only one party ("Democratic-Republicans" or "Republicans")
Federalist Party unpopular because of Hartford Convention (1814-1814)
Meeting in Connecticut, New England
Federalists unhappy with War of 1812 and embargoes because disrupted trade with G
Wanted to remove 3/5ths Clause of Constitution
Wanted to prohibit trade embargoes over 60 days
Wanted to limit future presidents to one term
And rotating presidents from North and South (VA had dominate since 1800)
Radicals (Essex Junto) threatened to secede from U.S. and make separate peace with GB
Elected in 1816 in a landslide
Because Hartford Convention destroyed popularity of Federalist Party
Market Revolution (See post)
Because the United States was cut off from trade with Britain, the country had to produce its own manufactured goods
Samuel Slater (the "father of the American factory system") had smuggled in knowledge of textile factory technology from Britain
Migrants came from Europe to find work in American factories and buy land
Because of Henry Clay's American System, the country become connected by roads, canals, steamboat travel and new communication(telegraph).
Made it easier to transport raw materials and manufactured goods.
Cotton produced in South went Northeast to textile factories
Food produced in West went North and South
Americans moved west to build farms and northeast to find work in factories
New steamships made travel on rivers and across the Atlantic easier
Philosophers like the transcendentalists championed the "self-made man"
Unlike Europe, Americans achieved success not because of hereditary privilege or government favoritism but through their own hard work.
Inspired farmers to move west
New middle class of office workers, clerks, accountants etc. arose
And new opportunities arose for talented and educated men in law, medicine, teaching.
There were 220,000 black people living in the United States in the mid 19th century
Most black people lived in the South and were slaves
Slavery increased because of the invention of the Cotton Gin making the cotton market more profitable
Fewer than 2% of blacks lived in the North
Suffered from discrimination
Lived in the poorest areas of cities (New York, Cincinnati, Philadelphia)
Barred from schools and public facilities
White employers refused to hire them
Black people in the West were not allowed to buy land
Therefore they were excluded from prosperity enjoyed by Whites
Women could not
Sign contracts or sue in their own names
Middle Class White Women
The 19th century Cult of Domesticity kept white women isolated in the private sphere
Men worked and socialized in the public sphere.
Books and magazines like "The Young Lady's Book" encouraged women to be obedient and submissive.
Decline of the birthrate and access to manufactured goods
Gave middle class women more freedom at home.
Working white women
Women who worked for wages could not compete freely with men for employment
Men controlled their wages (the "family wage")
Poor women worked as domestic servants, factory workers, seamstresses