My year in America By Grace lawton

What did it mean to be an American in the 1800's?

Our state bird, represents freedom


My name is Alexis de Tocqueville, the year is 1831. I am writing about my experiences in America. I have returned home to share my year in America with all of you readers.I hope my writing allow the readers not from America, to get a glimpse into what it would be like to live their. To be an American in the 1800’s meant you had pride in your country and you were proud to be an American. You had new ways to Express yourself through art literature and music. In Politics there are many new ideas that formed that many people agreed with.


Represents the national bank

In Politics, Henry Clay, believed in capitalism, an economic system based on private ownership of farms and an economic system based on private ownership of farms and business. He also believes in the American system, the American system is a proposal to the government that called for taxes on imports federally funded transportation projects in a new national bank.

Types of Art


Above are four major types of painting done in America. There are portraits, landscapes, paintings of birds and Native Americans.

Portraits were painted by the most professional artists, the best known artist was Gilbert Stuart. Stuart painted a portrait of the first president of the united states himself, George Washington. In the War of 1812, President Madison's wife, Dolly, saved the painting from the burning White House.

Landscapes are very popular as well, one artist, Thomas Cole, came to America from England in 1818. He had very famous work. He and other artists started what is known as, Hudson River School, a group of artists focused on nature and not people.

One artist by the name of George Catlin turned towards the native Americans and their traditions. He traveled across the West drawing and painting the native people and their daily lives.


America's national identity expressed though music in the 1800's. Music, up until then was most heard in church and some was heard on the streets. In the North, orchestras played classical music.from Europe, they alo provided the music for the cotillion. Cotillion is a dance with elegantly coordinated movements performed by four couples. I could watch them for days but I don’t understand how they can do it. It's so spectacular to watch the couples swirl around the ballroom, I hear they do perform lively minutes, gavottes, mazurkas, and walts. Women do very daring things when they dance, the lift their petticoats to show off their ankles. I was in America as a song was being written by a man I heard of, his name was Samuel Francis Smith. He was writing it to the tune of “God Save the King” I believe he called it “America.”

I spent some time in the South, where I saw African American slaves create some sort of spiritual music. They entertained themselves and sometimes the slave owners. They sang with violin, drums, and an instrument they invented, Banjo. Square dance, a less popular version of Cotillion, became common in the South, as well as the West. White composers from the South were inspired by African Americans type of music. They then created a type of music that is best known as minstrel songs. These songs honored black music by mimicking it, as well as mimicking their appearance. They would blacken their faces and wear shabby clothing.


Writers in America use American subjects and settings. A famous writer, Washington Irving drew on German folklore for his work, “Rip Van Winkle” and ”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, but set them in upstate New York.

One of America’s first novelists was James Fenimore Cooper, he wrote, “ The Pioneers” and “The last of the Mohicans”. James wrote about adventures of settlers on the frontier and American Indians.

There was also Davy Crockett, he wrote about his own life experiences being a hunter, soldier, scout, and explorer. In my opinion I think Mr. Crockett is as I quote “ a man who has no education, can read with difficulty, has no property, no fixed residence, but passes his life hunting, selling game to live, and dwelling continuously in the woods.” But many other people believe he is a fictional frontier hero come to life, I just don't understand.

New England's Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was one of the first American poets. Some of his most popular work is “ The song of Hiawatha” ,“Paul Revere's Ride” and “ The Building of the Ship.” Henry celebrated the growing importance of the United States.


In conclusion, being an American in the Era of Good Feelings was without a doubt a good era. Many Americans were proud to be an American being an American in the ra of good feelings was without a doubt a good era. Many Americans were proud to be an American. They came up with many good ideas and those ideas are sure to stay for many years to come.

Work Cited Page

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

Pictures from Adobe Spark search


Created with images by Patrick Feller - "No Substitute" • Steppinstars - "bald eagle eagle raptor" • JeepersMedia - "Bank of America" • cliff1066™ - "George Washington, First President (1789-1797)" • PeterKraayvanger - "art canvas painting" • tpsdave - "john stanley painting oil on canvas" • BioDivLibrary - "n236_w1150" • photosteve101 - "music notes with violin key" • jarmoluk - "old books book old"

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