Americans of the early 1800s are very proud and patriotic towards their country, and are just beginning to find an identity in their art, literature, and an overarching sense of individualism. The Americans are shifting away from sectional identities, such as the North, South, and frontier, and instead taking up a collective American one. In addition, several prominent American symbols have developed. To many Americans, this time period is known as the Era of Good Feelings.
The Era of Good Feelings was given its name due to the new president of the time, James Monroe. "After being elected in 1816, James Monroe went on a goodwill tour. Huge crowds greeted him so warmly that a newspaper proclaimed an 'Era of Good Feelings.'" This era went hand-in-hand with a new blooming of national unity; reflecting this build in nationalism, the government began to take a more energetic role in maintaining and building the nation's economy. For example, take Senator Clay, of Kentucky. He proposed the American System, which proposed the government place a tax on imports, federal funding for transportation projects, and a second national bank, as the first had lapsed in 1811. However, as is the case with Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, tension arose between nationalism and regional lifestyles: while Webster supported the American System, he also advocated for states' rights, particularly to keep slavery in the south. Meanwhile, the Judicial System was supporting nationalism with the Supreme Court's chief justice, John Marshall, who strengthened the role of both the Supreme Court and the Federal Government, and encouraged the growth of capitalism, a system in which individuals own businesses and produce goods for profit.