A Patriotic Nation Throughout my trip, I have learned that No one holds their country higher in their mind and heart than an American. They show their Pride in being one of the First INDEPENDENT countries In the world. Being an American means to value who you are because you DESCEND from the people who fought a nearly unwinnable War, and created a nation different than any other because they believed it was right. Let this section of my journal teach you about the Era of Good Feelings.

American Political System

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The presidencies between 1816 to 1829 offered many beneficial systems/ ideas to the United Sates Government. One system that had the biggest impact was from Henry Clay, a member of the Senate. He came up with the American System. The American System is the plan that would tax imported goods and federally funded transportation projects, in a movement to protect industry and federal spending. This would unify the country because while the government payed for some public projects, the people gave back through taxes/ selling their goods for profit. Henry Clay himself said "Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people." The trust throughout the government helped lead to the Era of Good Feelings.

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Art in America

American art is unique. I've learned that in the early 1800's, it became more popular. Everywhere I look I see ordinary people with beautiful creations, whether it's clothing, signs, paintings, or other everyday items. The transformation of everyday items into pieces of art became known as a genre called Folk Art. What made this art unique was that many people would make creating art their job/hobby. As painting became more popular, different styles were found. Portraits were painted of presidents and other leading figures, while painters also captured landscapes/aspects of nature. "To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country"- A quote by George Washington showing that even the leaders of this nation valued artwork, and as the nation became a more artistically diverse place, the Era of Good Feelings began.

American Music

Many unique genres of music flourished throughout the Era of Good Feelings. The most listened to/most popular were classical, spirituals, patriotic anthems, and minstrel songs. Although each type differed from the others, the music of this time all had something in common. The listeners of these songs would be somewhat active while enjoying songs of each genre. Classical music was played in elegant ballrooms, while the audience would dance formally. Spiritual songs were created by slaves from the south. The songs combined white hymns with African music styles. The slaves would sing them while working, or while acting as an entertainer for their masters. Patriotic anthems showed support of the country. Men sung/ listened to these songs passionately, while moving to the rhythm or engaging in conversation/ everyday activities. Minstrel songs were strongly based off of music produced by African Americans, and were danced to. One very popular spiritual anthem is the poem/song The Star Spangled Banner, by Francis Scott Key. "O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there". It tells the story about the Battle of Fort McHenry.

American Literature

Writing started to become a more popular form of art in the mid 1820's. Writers started with writing pieces about unique American subjects and settings. Eventually, stories following older folk tales or pieces about expeditions of the time period became popular. One writer and frontiersman wrote about his roles as a hunter, scout, soldier, and explorer. This man, known as Davy Crockett, inspired people not just through his adventure-themed writings, but through the kind of person he was. He was described as a man who had "no education, can read with difficulty, has no property, no fixed residence, but passes his life hunting, selling his game to live, and dwelling continuously in the woods". His work reflected Americans' sense of individualism. Individualism is a social aspect that favors an individual's freedom of action over state control. Davy's stories of him making an independent life for himself in the wilderness and separating himself from state rules/control to live and prosper how he wanted showed the growing sense of individualism that I see in the eyes of every American I pass.

A Lifetime of Bad Feelings

Although this Era of Good Feelings is treating a majority of this Nation's population well, there are many members of this society that are not "feeling good". These people consist of women, slaves, and the native tribes that were here long before these Americans. The group that is treated the most poorly by these seemingly high powered white men, are the African American people, and their lives are shaped by racism. For talking a lot about being free, these Americans think the white race has the power to own African Americans. Whether they are owned or free, I haven't seen a person of black color treated like an equal throughout my entire trip. After doing some research, I learned that by law, slaves are property. As described by others who observed this unfair treatment, a slave has "no wife, no children, no country, no home". Even free, African Americans were seen as dangerous people. From my observations, there is no Era of Good Feelings for the black population, not in America.

This nation built on independence has reached its peak in my opinion, and will continue to climb. Those who are welcomed as people in this country will continue to support the United States, while those welcomed as property will continue to struggle while surrounded by their white "superiors". I believe that a lot can happen when the population of a country will die for their land, and they have proved that they will already. This is why I say that nobody holds their country higher in their mind and their heart than an American.

Work Cited

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

"Henry Clay Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

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