America in the Early 1800's:The Era of Good Feelings By Natasha Gutierrez

This image shows that the meaning of being an American is to have pride in your country.


Hi, my name is Alexis de Tocqueville. I have traveled around the U.S. from France and started writing a book but I have lost a chapter and only have my field notes left. Can you help me recreate and finish my book? Okay, let's go back in time and travel back to America in the early 1800's. I have learned that life in the early 1800's was challenging but simple. Being an American child in the 1800's meant that you had to start working at a young age, around 6-8 years old. I saw many children working at a mill and in factories. I also saw children learning simple skills like how to read and write at home or in a schoolhouse with just one teacher. Most of the buildings I saw looked the same and were small and build out of wood. I think the main key to being an American was to be patriotic and have pride in America. Also, the sense of individualism was important because America was known for being a free and independent nation.

Art was a big part of American culture in the early 1800s because people got to express themselves.

Artists of America

As I traveled around and looked at many artists' work, I realized that everyone has their own style and techniques. One main style I saw was Folk Art. Folk Art was simple but very colorful. Common painters and people usually painted this type of art. The next genre I saw was Portraits which are more high-end and detailed to portray the person's facial details. One of the most well known painters I got to meet was George Catlin. George uses rich colors to paint the Native Americans and frontier settings. George Catlin said, "Thank God, it is over, that I have seen it and am able to tell it to the world." which explains that everybody should be lucky to be alive and not take anything for granted and thats good because it shows that you shouldn't take anything for granted including nature ans paintings.Most of the work I saw while I was traveling around was of American people and settings which adds to my thesis that being American means to have pride in one's nation.

Literature was another key way to express yourself and your pride for your country in the early 1800's.


Literature was very important in the early 1800’s. It taught people everything they needed to know about the outside world. It also let people express themselves and share their feeling to the world and other people. All the people I met while visiting the U.S. expressed their feeling towards their nation including Rip Van Winkle who talked about American settings and subjects. Also Davy Crockett's, another man who wrote about America, work reflected Americas' sense of individualism because he talks about hunting and exploring which is what makes America and individual nation. Here is a quote from Davy Crockett that explains how you should always double check that you are right because your mistakes could backfire on you. "Be always sure you are right - then go ahead.'' This was important because it made people double check. I have realized that American literature is unique because real life people write about real life scenarios.

Music was good for expressing your feelings about America and your daily life.

Expressing Yourself in Song

As I walked around the U.S. I heard many different types of music and songs. Most of the music I heard was influenced by American culture. I could tell that the music of the U.S. reflects the country's population and that being an American meant having pride in their country. The music that was brought to the U.S. helped define the people who were to make a new country. It showed that they were strong and independent. Some songs were working songs which were songs that people used to pass time while working. Here's a few lines from a slave song that explain how much the slaves wanted to be free. "Go down Moses, 'Way down in Egypt land Tell ol' Pharaoh To let my people go." In these lines the Pharaoh would be God and Egypt would be the working fields. I can tell that American music is unique because it is used in many different ways not just entertainment.

This image represents how politics started working out in the early 1800's.


Politics started getting better in the 1800's even though there was some resistance. The last time I went to the U.S. everyone was happy because America was winning all the wars and battles which was giving America even more pride. I heard that America got even more land and gained a lot of power. The Democratic-Republicans were the only active national party and it was working out very nicely. Americans were more proud than ever and had a sense of national purpose. Henry Clay's plan to unify the country included a national bank that would promote a single currency so that America wouldn't need to use other countries currencies. Also he said he would put a tax on imported goods to protect the nation’s business from foreign competition. Here's a quote from Henry Clay that shows you that you should trust your inner gut and not just go along with what everybody else is. "Statistics are no substitute for judgment." It explains that you should trust yourself and have your own judgement on a subject. I would like to say that France, where I came from, should keep being America's companion so that they can help each other and share idea's.

Counter Argument

Although America mostly grew and became more productive there was still times when it could have been better. One of those times was when slaves and women barley had any rights. This time was tough because white men thought that they were bigger and better than everybody else and treated women and laves like they were trash. They also made up the entire government and didn't let them have rights. Women were constantly being put down about how they "weren't smart enough" or "strong enough". Slaves sometimes didn't get fed enough or even get a good place to sleep. They were over worked and didn't get enough sleep. Some slaves tried to escape but ended up getting caught and being punished even more severely. In conclusion, every nation has their ups and downs.


The early 1800's should be considered The Era of Good Feelings. So many good things happened that helped America become more significant. Art, Music, and Literature promoted America and proved that the U.S. was an individual country. The population even grew stronger and became more proud to be and American. Winning all the wars that America won helped America's pride grow and become stronger. The economy grew stronger and politics became easier to understand and work with. To conclude, Americans should be proud to live in America and have a sense of national purpose.

Work Cited: MLA

  • Bower, Bert, and Jim Lobdell. History Alive! Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2005. Print.
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