Journey through new American culture & politics By Kelsey Berges

Life as an American in the 1800's was exciting, sometimes took a while so you needed patience, but all worth it to explore this new country. Most people were new here so everyone was still adapting to creating a stable life. Life here was also pretty slow like I said earlier, so everyone has to wait weeks sometimes if you simply just wanted to deliver a letter or package. In America, people were mostly inspired by our founding father so new art, literature, politics and culture were being explored. I think this truly was the "Era of Good Feelings."

This picture represents new American freedom.
This represents politics in the 1800s.

Politics here are really different than where I was. Many people were apart of the government but never women or people of color. One of the main leading men is named Henry Clay. Henry is a very persuasive speaker who wanted to be president but never got elected. He believes that the future will be based on an economic system that relies on farms and businesses. That’s why he supported the plan called the american System. That is a plan for the government that is more taxes on imported goods, and spendings on things like roads. Henry Clay wanted public lands to be sold off not given away to people. The money would be used for educational and improvements to the area. The American System was meant to increase economic development and not rely on imports. “I’d rather be right then be a president.” -Henry Clay.

This represents how art was in the 1800s.

Art in this Era is more like a story coming to life, anything you could imagine. There are many types and styles of art you could do but the main two are Romanticism and Realism. Romanticism is the art where all the colors and the theme seem peaceful and almost like you’re being hugged. A painter named William Blake was once asked what he saw to draw when he looked at the sun he replied with “I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying” This is what a romanticism artist sees, taking something so simple as the sun and imagining it to tell a story. Most of this art was through nature too, everyone was drawn to that fact that this art was exotic and mysterious. It gave the art piece a value, an imaginary supernatural place that also seemed too real. The other art is Realism. Realism is the art where the paintings resembled everyday life and things regular people do. It wasn’t necessarily the favorite of all art but it was said to have showed a truth about life that everyone desired.

Music in 1800s

Most of the music here is folk, classical, anthems, and spiritual. More of the higher class people listen to classical while everyone else listens to the rest. In the late 1800s though, jazz started to get way more popular. Some famous musicians are Ludwig Von Beethoven (a classical musician), and the 2 nationalist musicians, Antonin Dvorak & Jan Sibelius. “To achieve great things two things are needed, a plan and not quite enough time” -Leonard Bernstein. They are all famous for writing anthems for their countries and learning his all at young ages. Music here is really important because it gives slaves a distraction for what they are forced to live with and it is a way here that you could be open with your religion with anthems or spiritual songs. A lot of musicians also focused on a theme or mood of songs to make them more relatable with an audience.

Writing in 1800s

Many artists here were also poets and other types of writers so a lot of the ideas in paintings went into literature. Not everyone could read at this time so it was pretty special to be able to be a good writer. Reading stories of supernatural or fantasy are always the best. Some of the best writes are Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Davy Crockett, Washington Irving, and James Fenimore Cooper. The British novelist, Charles Dickens's most famous are, Sketches of Boz (1836), Pickwick Papers (1836-37), Oliver Twist (1837-39), Nicholas Nickleby (1838), Master Humphrey's Clock (1840-1841), Included: Barnaby Rudge The Old Curiosity Shop, American Notes (1842), Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44), and A Christmas Carol (Dec 1843). “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” -Edgar Allen Poe. He is a novelist writer as well and one of his most famous books is The Raven and The Black Cat. Those aren’t the only writers here but only the ones I’ve talked to so far.

This is how some people didn't think the 1800s was very good.

Some people may not call this the Era of “Good feelings” with all the slaves and women not being treated right. I mean how can you blame them, slaves who were just normal people but because they were a little bit darker then others they were whipped and forced to do white people’s work. Also women, they had absolutely no rights whatsoever. They weren’t allowed to learn or go to school so they couldn't get a job later on in life. All they were allowed to do was cook, clean, and care for children they were sometimes forced to have. Although it wasn’t everyone in the 1800s who thought this treatment was ethical so there were many, many movements and protests about how women need more rights and they should be able to learn and how more slaves should be free. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton worked together to lead an anti-slavery and women’s right movement in 1840 that didn’t completely abolish the issues but lead to later help and changed some minds. “If our principle is right, why should we be cowards?" -Lucretia Mott


Life in the 1800s in America was truly amazing. Every aspect of life here never disappointed me, the literature how every poem and book was relatable, art how the paintings could tell stories, music, how you could express anything through, and politics how everything seemed in order and organized. There are so many things here I haven’t seen or done but even seeing the geography everyday was great. There are different things everywhere, in the north there is more fishing and ships and harbors while in the south there is warmer weather for crops. Overall America is astonishing and really is the Good Feelings Era.

Works Cited

Hart, Diane, and Bert Bower. History alive!: the United States through industrialism. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2011. Print.

"DickensQ." DickensQ. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

"Famous Composers." Famous Composers - The Method Behind the Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

"Literature During the 1800's - Arts of the 1800's." Google Sites. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

"Music In the 1800's - Arts of the 1800's." Google Sites. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.

"Romanticism (late 1700s-mid 1800s)." Romanticism (late 1700s-mid 1800s) | Scholastic ART | N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Feb. 2017.


Created with images by Always Shooting - "Trout Lake, Yellowstone National Park, USA" • Brett Levin Photography - "American Flag" • DonnaW - "the white house landmark united states" • cliff1066™ - "Etui" • kevin dooley - "Waiting for Tom Chapin, 2014" • Archives New Zealand - "Library of Congress and the General Assembly Library" • Boston Public Library - "One hour of American slavery is fraught with more misery than ages of that which we rose in rebellion to oppose." • mrsdkrebs - "American Flag"

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