The Era of Good Feelings By: Alexis de Tocqueville/ Abby Tompkins


Through my travels I have learned that the early 1800s in America is starting to prosper and discover itself. To be an American during the early 1800s you must have a strong sense of individualism and national unity. For example, to be a strong individual nation America begun it's own government, and invented their own style and type of music, art, and literature. Also the politics have begun to become more equal and more economically supported. America has now started to enter the Era of Good Feelings. "The "Era of Good Feelings" marked a period that reflected a sense of national purpose and a desire for unity...."(


New music like Classical music, Minstrel songs, Spiritual music, and Folk songs have been invented during the early 1800s. Classical music is elegant and a more fancy type of music, and people dance in ballrooms performing dances like the waltzes to this type of music. Minstrel songs are based off of African American music, and mimic their music as honoring African American songs. Spiritual songs are based off of religion, and is folk song from America. Folk songs use violin, banjo and drum, these songs entertain slaves and their slave owners. The music has been reinvented into something every American can enjoy, and shows the nation's identity of individualism and unity. "America's national identity was also expressed through music"(TCI)


European art styles were brought to early America by Americans, but during the Era of Good Feelings America begun to discover it's own style of art. There is Folk art and Portraits, and there's many great artists like John James Audubon and George Catlin. Folk art is simple and colorful, there is sometimes art as simple as the American Flag. Portraits show people's emotions and personalities, portraits are usually much more complicated than folk art. Artists like John James Audubon illustrates birds and are naturalists, and artists like George Catlin draw native people in their villages sometimes hunting or collecting food. Art during the Era of Good Feelings showed that the United States of America was an individual nation. "...By the early 1800s they were expressing their national identity by developing styles all on their own."(TCI)


There is also many new types of literature invented like serious American poems, enchanted stories, and many stories of hunting and being in the woods. Famous authors like Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Davy Crockett, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the new styles of literature. Washington Irving wrote enchanted stories like, "Rip Van Winkle", and James Fenimore Cooper described frontier life, and wrote, "The Pioneers". Davy Crockett used rough humor in his writing and used plain backwoods speech, and he wrote an autobiography. Henry Wadsworth wrote the first serious American poems, and was a patriotic writer, he wrote "The Songs of Hiawatha". The authors during the Era of Good Feelings showed that America was a strong Individual nation. "....they promoted the myth of rugged individualism that for many people-at home and abroad- best characterized the United States."(TCI)


Politics in America has invented many new political and economical systems. The president of this time is James Monroe, and he declared the Monroe Doctrine which stated there would be no more European Colonization in the Western Hemisphere. Henry Clay is a leading supporter who believes in Capitalism and supports the economic system called the "American System". Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of farms and businesses. The American System is an offer to the government that wanted tax for a new national bank, funded transportation projects, and imports. Since there has been so many new systems and declarations like the Monroe Doctrine, the American System, and Capitalism America has discovered and created itself into an independent and strong nation. "To many Americans at the time, it seemed that a new period of national unity had dawned."(TCI)

Opposing Claim

Although most would say this is the Era of good feelings, many would disagree. Many minorities like women, Native Americans, and African Americans wouldn't call this the Era of Good Feelings. Most women do not feel as though this is the Era of Good Feelings because they have no voting rights, they don't have the rights that men do, and they are not allowed to have more privileged jobs. Native Americans wouldn't call this the Era of Good feelings, because Americans didn't want them on the land that they wanted to take so it ended in fighting and hard times for American Indians . African Americans don't feel as though this was the Era of Good Feelings either, because most were slaves who worked their whole life and sometimes were badly abused, and those who were free weren't treated well and could be mistaken as slaves and have to work. This was not the Era of Good feelings because it was a time where Americans were against each other. "Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here."(


From my travels through the United States of America I have discovered that to be an American you must have a strong sense of individualism. I believe America is strong because they are an individual nation that invented their own type of music, art, politics, literature, and economics making this time the Era of Good Feelings. Although some like women, African Americans, and Native Americans would disagree because they didn't share an equal amount of freedom and pride in America, many still believe that the early 1800s was the Era of Good Feelings. The fact that America is able to discover itself makes me believe that the early 1800s was the Era of Good Feelings. "...a growing sense of nationhood developed during the early 1800s .."(TCI)

Work Cited

Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. History Alive!: The United States through Industrialism. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2011. Print

"The "Era of Good Feelings" - Boundless Open Textbook." Boundless. N.p., 7 Sept. 2016.

2017.Satyarthi, Kailash. "Kailash Satyarthi Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 20 Feb.


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