During the Era of Good Feelings in America, the politics grew with America itself. America tried to start uniting all the separate states to become a true nation. A man named Henry Clay tried to help do it by using the "American System", which had federal spending on transportation projects, had the national bank standardize currency, and had taxes on imported goods, which helped with capitalism. As John Adams said, "In politics the middle way is none at all." Federal power was also strengthened during this time. For example, in McCulloch v. Maryland, the court confirmed Congress's authority to create a national bank that was free from state interference.
Art in the 1800's of America become unique and went in it's own path. Five styles of art came out of it, known as Folk art, portraits, Hudson River School, John James Audubon, and George Catlin. Folk art was simple, colorful, and patriotic, portraits were professional and with emotions, Hudson River School was natural and scenic, John James Audubon was accurate and was mostly realistic bird paintings, and George Catlin was rich and wondrous paintings of Native American culture. Why art was unique during the Era of Good Feelings was because it showed how life was like in the Frontier and, as John James Audubon said, "When the bird and the book disagree, believe the bird." It showed how you should believe in nature itslef, rather than stories.
Music in the Era of Good Feelings is controversial and interesting. There were four types of music, them being classical , patriotic, spiritual, and minstrel music. Classical music was from Europe and was elegant, patriotic music was like songs like The Star Spangled Banner, spiritual music was sung by African Americans/slaves about their origins or for religious reasons, and minstrel music was satire of spiritual music made by the Americans. Why music of the Era of Good feelings was unique was because it adapted to other types of music and made it their own, giving the types of music their own sense of diversity. An example would be some lines from The Star Spangled Banner, 'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!" This showed patriotism when it comes to patriotic music.
The literature of The Era of Good Feelings is what going to be known worldwide. America's authors like Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Davy Crocket, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow have written major stories like for Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and Longfellow, Paul Revere's Ride. Davy Crocket's work, in particular, reflected Americans' sense of individualism by making an autobiography, but was mixed with a tall tale sense, giving Americans a sense of uniqueness. Why literature was unique in The Era of Good Feelings was because it told stories of the frontier, the scenes so detailed and unparalleled that no other place was like it, including unparalleled sayings/articulation. An example would be from Davy Crockett, "Fame is like a shaved pig with a greased tail, and it is only after it has slipped through the hands of some thousands, that some fellow, by mere chance, holds on to it!"
Many ideas and styles of America became great and people were happy, but not everyone. The people who weren't happy were women, American Indians, and African Americans. Women weren't happy since they still weren't treated right., American Indians weren't happy since they lost most of their land, and African Americans weren't happy since they were treated horribly and were discriminated. An example for one would be the Indians in the Book Crazy Horse, " One does not sell the land people walk on..."
What does it mean to be an American in the 1800's? It means to have pride in one's country for surviving in the frontier, with both it's peace and beauty. It means to being unique from one another for luck and the times. It means for Americans to be united as a country, instead of divided as states, so that we can all have unity. It means to be strong and be known as a nation of it's own, so that other nations will respect our own types of entertainment, people, and our geography. It means that Americans would/should die for their country since this country is unlike others and will stay like that for centuries onward. As John Quincy Adams said, "My toast would be, may our country be always successful, but whether successful or otherwise, always right."
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