Historians have traditionally labled the period after the War of 1812 the "Era of Good Feelings." Evaluate the accuracy of this lable, considering the emergence of nationalism and sectionalism
During the administration of U.S. President James Monroe, especially 1815 to 1825, historians named the period the “Era of Good Feelings”. Since Monroe’s party, Republicans, dominated politics after Hartford Convention in 1814 it was the beginning of one party system and the “Era of Good Feelings”. The period was the era of nationalism which almost masked the sectionalism underneath. There were cultural nationalism, economic nationalism, and Marshall’s court cases which showed that the society of the time was filled with nationalism while there were also sectional crisis like ‘Missouri Compromise’. However, the “Era of Good Feelings” had lasted only from the election of 1816 to the Panic of 1819.
In the election of 1816, Monroe defeated Federalist candidate Rufus King with 183 electoral votes, while 34 electoral votes to King. In the election of 1820, with 231 electoral votes, Monroe defeated Federalist candidate John Q. Adams (Document I). The dominance in politics with no political opposition gave president Monroe power to support the nationalism. There was cultural nationalism. From paintings to schoolbooks, there were ideas of nationalism and patriotism. In the “Fourth of July, Centre Square, Philadelphia (1819)” by John Krimmel, there are two flags which symbolize the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 (Document C).
There was also economic nationalism; tariff of 1816 and Henry Clay’s American System. In 1816, Congress raised tariff on certain goods not to raise government revenue but to protect American manufacturers (Document A). Tariff of 1816 was the first protective tariff in U.S history. Even New England opposed the protective tariff, many states supported tariff of 1816 for national prosperity In addition, Henry Clay proposed ‘Henry Clay’s...