The Era of Good Feeling By Eliana Bruce

An Introduction to Life During the Early 1800s: Life During the antebellum was a collage of new and emerging ideas and unique styles. With a new found freedom, Americans had time to focus on new kinds of art, music, and literature. These new advancements came from a new found national pride. If you were an American in the 1800s you were full of pride. You were hopeful and excited about the new country. You had so much pride you were ready to proclaim your love for the new country in any way you could: in art, music, and literature.

Day 1: Literature from the early 1800s was just taking of, there were many new authors and styles of writing. 4 major authors of this time include, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, Davy Crocket, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Washington Irving was the author of pieces including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. His works were often set in the wilds of upstate New York. James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Pioneers and The Last of the Mohicans. His pieces featured adventures of settlers in the wilderness facing the frontier. Davy Crockett wrote The Crockett Almanac and wrote tall tales. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote poems including The song of Hiawatha and Paul Revere's Ride. Authors such as these 4 and used their stories to portray how life was for them during the 1800s.  This is shown in this quote, "I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories." WASHINGTON IRVING, Tales of a Traveler ( because his stories show how he felt in the 1800s.

A Banjo

Day 2: Music during the 1800s was just taking of. Americans took ideas from other styles of music and made it their own. The 4 main types of music were: Classical music, spirituals, minstrel songs, and folk songs. Classical music was elegant and sophisticated. Spirituals combined the songs of white churchgoers and African styles of music. Minstrel songs honored black music by imitating it. Folk songs were invented by African Americans and usually accompanied by instruments such as the violin, drum, and banjo. Another brand of sons were patriotic anthems. They reflected Americans pride. For example in The Star-Spangled Banner it refers to America as " The land of the free. And the home of the brave" (Francis Scott Key)

Thomas Cole's, The Subsiding Waters of deluge (1829)

Day 3: Art was a different way of explaining life during the 1800s, "When the bird and the book disagree, believe the bird" - John James Audubon ( Art In the Antebellum era there were 5 main styles/ artists: Folk art, Portraits, Hudson River School, George Catlin, and John James Audubon. Folk art were produced by ordinary people. Men made things like weather vanes and hunting decoys. Women made quilts. People also made signs, murals, and images of national symbols. Portraits were more professional and captured human emotions. The Hudson River School of Painting focused more on broad scenic vistas and landscapes. George Catlin's pieces had rich colors and featured native people. John James Audubon painted birds, and was very detailed. Over time Americans had created a unique style of art that was unlike anything around the world.

James Monroe

Day 4: Politics during the 1800s were largely influenced by the increase of nationalist spirit and The Era of Good Feelings. The Era of Good Feelings was named after the 8 years that Monroe was president. During this time proposals urged the Federal Government to help in creating the national economy. One such American that supported this was Henry Clay. Clay believed that the future of our country lay in capitalism. He also believed in an economic plan called the American System. This meant taxes on imported goods. He also believed in standardizing currency and providing credit. Another nationalist was Daniel Webster who was also in favor of the American System and believed in unity between the country. " Let us act under a settled conviction, and habitual feeling, that these twenty-four states are one country" -Daniel Webster ( page 246, TCI textbook.) Also in the Judicial branch, Supreme Court's Chief Justice, John Marshal, both strengthened the role of the Supreme Court and the power the federal government had over states and he encouraged the growth of capitalism.

Nat Turner's Rebellion

Day 5: "The Era of Good Feelings" wasn't however, that "good" for everyone. in particularly three groups of individuals; Native Americans, African Americans, and women. Native Americans were getting driven out of their homes. They were being forced to either give up their land peacefully or fight. According to Tecumseh the land "was never divided, but belonged to us all." ( Tecumseh, page 238 TCI textbook) He believed that Native Americans shouldn't give up their land because it belongs to everyone. African American were even worse off. They were imprisoned to work as property and even if they were free they were forced to live out a live of segregation. A life of stereotypes. And women were forced to follow distinct guidelines about how to act. Women were like slaves. They had to do whatever men told them.

Conclusion: The Era of Good Feelings was about feeling pride for your country. It was feeling grateful and hopeful, that you had gotten past the hard times. Although for three groups of individuals- women, African Americans, and Native Americans- it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone felt like they had proven to themselves and everyone else that their country and they to, had earned a spot on the map.

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

"TOP 25 QUOTES BY JOHN JAMES AUDUBON." A-Z Quotes. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. "Washington Irving Quotes." Washington Irving Quotes. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.


Created with images by cdrummbks - "last of the mohicans" • Mike Licht, - "Vega SS-5 Folklore Pete Seeger Longneck Model 5 String Banjo (1965)" • tpsdave - "thomas cole painting oil on canvas" • nathanborror - "Monroe" • Elvert Barnes - "175th anniversary of Nat Turner Slave Rebellion"

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