American Growth A flourishing new country

As I walked towards the immense white building, known as the Capitol Building, the sun vanished behind its summit, and as my eyes adjusted to the shade, I began to notice the people swimming in and out of it, like they were fish in a stream. Their faces aglow, their minds inventive, and their spirits friendly. America was a extremely resilient country, that had won their war for independance, and now had to show the world how independent they really were. This is when I realized what being American in this time period meant: to freely express your own ideas, and to use those ideas to help unify the country. This chapter of my book is about a growing American culture, the "Era of Good Feelings" and what it was like to live in such a wonderful place at this time.

Music in the Early 1800's

Such an amazing time period must have a equally amazing musical history. Music genres such as classical, folk and square dance became popular. These types of music were extremely unique to America, no other country had music quite like it. In addition Americans in the Era of Good Feelings were growing more and more patriotic, writing poems, and verses for songs about feeling proud to live in their country. One man in particular, Francis Scott Key wrote in his journal about a triumph the Americans had after a battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. As the sun was rising, he wrote from his ship: "Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?" After he wrote this, it turned into America's national anthem, due to its poetic nature, and patriotic themes.

Art from the Era of Good Feelings

During the early 1800's, many different types of art began to flourish. From folk art, which the average artist could draw, to portraits, which only a skilled artist could paint. A couple famous artists at the time were: George Catlin, an artist who captured native views of America, and stuck to the roots of the country. Also, John James Audubon, who specialized in nature, particularly birds. Along with his art, he would write about the birds he saw, and put it into books, which became a success, and in turn, brought him fame. One of his most popular prints: "Birds of America" captivated readers with its large watercolor paintings, and amazing tales of the American frontier. one quote from his work goes: "I ate no butcher's meat, lived chiefly on fruits, vegetables and fish, and never drank a glass of spirits or wine until my wedding day." Overall, art in the Era of Good Feelings was very unique to America.

Era of New Politics

The Era of Good Feelings is known for many things, but the most important and surprising is how politically unified America was. In the early 1800's, there was no conflict in political parties, only Democratic-Republicans ran for president, and were part of the government. Capitalism was becoming stronger, as Federalism became weaker. One senator, Henry Clay had a idea for the ideal American system. It was split into three components: Federal spending on transport, taxes on imported goods, and a new national bank. Clay had many useful thoughts as a senator. For example, he once said: "Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees." Overall, America's government was as strong and as unified as it would ever be in this time period.

Literature Expressing American Ideas

In all of my studies, I find the literature of the early 1800's to be the most interesting art form from the Era of Good Feelings. A couple main themes of literature were the frontier, romanticism, and heroism. Novels and short stories relied on the idea of a ordinary person doing unordinary, or extraordinary things. For example, Washington Irving, otherwise known as the "first American writer" expanded on folklore, and also created new stories. Some of his works were: "Rip Van Winkle," and "The Legend of Sleepy Hallow." Both of these stories were about romantic, and unrealistic things, like a man with no head, and another man sleeping for over 10 years. In all, literature from this time period is something historic, and inspires many.

Native American View on Colonial America

Not all people agreed with the way Americans were running the country. For example, Native Americans believed that America was their country, and colonists were kicking them out. As colonists were buying land, one Native American, Tecumseh said: "Sell a country? Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth?" Americans, however, only wanted to share the space they had. Colonists moved to the east coast, and let natives live to the west.

Final Thoughts

As I traveled the many miles of America, up its mountains, in its vast forests, through its towns, cities and states, I only became more intrigued in its culture. The people are all very smart, as well as proud of their country. Because there are such educated people, they can use all their ideas to create unique political systems, literature, art, and music. As a fairly new country, they have to be careful about the way they do things, so the real beauty of America is having no conflict in ideas, and total unity in what they do. Overall, the "Era of Good Feelings" definitely deserved its name.

Works Cited (MLA)

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Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. “Chapter 13.” History Alive!: the United States through Industrialism, student, Teachers' Curriculum Institute, Palo Alto, CA, CA, 2011, pp. 1–689.

James Audobon quote

Audobon, John James. “John James Audubon Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_james_audubon.html.

Henry Clay's American System

Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. “Chapter 13.” History Alive!: the United States through Industrialism, student, Teachers' Curriculum Institute, Palo Alto, CA, CA, 2011, pp. 1–689.

Tecumseh quote

Tecumseh. “Tecumseh Quotes.” BrainyQuote, Xplore, 2001, www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/tecumseh.html.

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