Being American, meant having a special pride and love for your country, and for everything that embodies the ideals of our country. Having pride means, lovingly, and purposefully pledging alligence to Our Flag, to Our Government, and to Our People. Being American also means having a sense of Individualism , or knowing that while being a rule follower, and a healthy citizen is good, it is also good to be able to be your own person, and to love the country that allows you to be just that. Being American also means having a strong sense of unity, in that while being an individual person, with your own thoughts is ok, but still being unified for the greater good of society, and that when things go bad, you can trust fellow citizens to help you... Like one big family.
Politics in early America was very different from those of other nations, we are a democracy, we had political parties, and presidents not dictators. This supports the idea that being American means having individuality, and not having to be stuck with the pack. This supports this idea because, our style of government (Democracy) was different from many others in this timeframe. With our government, the people were able to having freedom of speech, and the ability to having true leaders, leaders that wouldn't use their power just to gain more power through cruel methods. This is why I believe that politics followed the idea of what it means to be American.
Music in the Early American followed my idea of what it meant to be American, possibly most of all topics, because it had true individuality. Most music before the 1800's was Old Tunes, with New lyrics, which was very cookie cutter, and not very creative. Also before the 1800's most music was sung in church exclusively. during the 1800's as prosperity grew in the U.S. There was more musical activity. Now there was more music, people danced in ballrooms, and they learned songs, and the drums. "Jazz is one of the great, truly native American Art forms. along with the movies it's probably the art that the world associates most deeply with America." -Dana Gloia American Poet. This alone was very outlandish, and divergent from the standard way of doing things. Doing this differently seemed to be a big theme running through American History around this time. These are the reasons, why I believe that Music in early America fit the idea that Being an Early American CItizen meant being different, and why this adds to the idea of this being the Era of Good Feelings.
" To be an artist, you have to give up everything, including the desire to be a good artist." Art in early America was different than that of the standard at this time. This is because when Thomas Cole arrived in America, he fell in love with American Landscape. Not many artists previously had used landscape as the center of a painting. Also there were artists like John James Audubon who painted finely detailed portraits of birds, or George Catlin who captured the ways of Native American culture. All of these ideas differed greatly from typical art back then because, Landscape painting was a new idea, and it showed love for the natural beauty of America. Or Artists that drew American birds, as opposed to royalty. Another different idea is that of drawing Native American life for fear of disappearing culture. These are all new and different ideas, these are also the ideas that lead me to believe that Early American Art followed my view of what it meant to be American.
Literature in Early American History also followed the ideals of what it meant to be an American citizen. This is because, America's early literature was largely frowned upon for being boring and different, by other nations. This shows the idea of being an American citizen ran fluidly throughout American Literature, because most literature works were different from the standard, and many works were about the beauty of American Land, the culture of Native Americans, and the Adventure that people such as Davy Crocket embarked on. These are the reasons why I believe that Early American Literature displayed the qualities of what it means to be, and why this time was called the Era of Good Feelings.
Counter Argument/Conclusion: Other people may say that these categories do not fit the ideals of the meaning of being American because they must have gotten their ideas from other people/civilizations, and therefore cannot be as unique as previously stated. Well this opinion would be correct, but the meaning means more than something as simple as that. While yes we must have had at least partial inspiration from others. Many of our ideals were different from the typical or standard, which is what early America was all about in my opinion. America came to be, because we were individual and wanted to support things we believed in, instead of what we were supposed to believe in. That is why I believe that anyone saying that American culture wasn't as special as it seemed, would be not understanding the true culture of America, and why this time could be considered to Era of Good Feelings
- Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. History Alive!: The United States through Industrialism. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2011. Print.
- "Give and Take White Black Hand Vector Illustration." Give and Take White and Black Hand Vector Illustration. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.