America The Era of good feelings.
By, Alexis De Tocqueville
Being an American in the 1800's
(perspective of 25 year old French man)
Hello My name is Alexis De Tocqueville and I am a Frenchman I have been traveling the United States for 2 years and I am going to give you my perspective of things here. To begin with being an American in the 1800 meant that you were full of pride for your country, you were full of adventure, strength, and good feelings. For most people being an American means you have pride in your county because you helped fight for this for freedom even if you did not technically fight in a battle you fought in other ways like donating, disobeying the English , not paying taxes and not purchasing English goods. Being American meant that you had a sense of individualism you were self reliant and so was your country. America has Agriculture and a government to rely on. Here you promote national unity Even if the political parties are arguing they can still come together for the bigger cause, or something more important you can rely on them. You have freedom for yourself and your family. But the Era of good feelings wasn't that good for everyone. “Yesterday the greatest question was decided which ever was debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, ”that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.””~John Adams
But the Era of Good feelings wasn't that good for some people, people like slaves who were forced to work until their backs broke, Native Americans who were forced to move until there was no were else to go, and women who have to be obedient and loyal to their husbands and any man for that matter even if their husbands weren't loyal back. For the slaves even though they weren't supposed to have a country or home they considered America there Country there home and they had the most pride in it as you can see in this photo above they even fought for there country but they didn't really have a choice.Same with the Native Americans they were here first and they considered this place there home there life they took pride in what they had just in a different way than the Americans. In my opinion I think that slavery is wrong maybe because I was born and raised in France where there is no slavery or maybe because I see them as people not animals and they should not be treated in such way it is wrong. there is a lot of racism here people think that they are superior to them when we are equal, they even separate themselves from them they call it segregation but it is so much more it is cruel it is demeaning it is discriminating and most of all it is wrong. So the Era of Good Feelings wasn't that feel good for everyone. unless you were a wealthy white male.Slaves are treated terribly they get hardly enough time to eat or sleep they have to go out and work in the field if you were a man no matter the weather and if you were a woman you had to do all of the housed work and raise the children if you said the wrong word you could get in trouble and punishments were things like whipping , beating or even getting killed but the worst part was that you could be sold off at any minute even if you had a family you could just be sold just like cattle. Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.-GEORGE WASHINGTON
opposing claim on slavery
Many people might say that they cant free the slaves because they do most of they work and the American Economy would fall but they were the ones who brought slaves into this they were the ones who based it upon them.They could just let them free and let them be able to do what everyone else is able to do things like get a paying job have family's a home and a country and you could get work done that way by hiring them as employee instead of slaves who you force to work. And you might say but this way we get free labor but if you really think about it if you are keeping slaves you have to feed them cloth them and give them a place to live but if you let them be free they would be considered employees and all you would have to give them is there salary just like anyone else.
politics in the united states are very good for a new country they have a Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch, and Executive Branch. They have specific laws against crime and if they are broken there are consequences. And they have a president because they are a Democracy there presidents name is George Washington a well known general from the American Revolution. In the 1800 many people tried to reform the American Government because they thought that it was unjust in the matter of slaves but there were some people who disagreed with this because pretty much all of the labor is done by the slaves and if you were to free them America would lose money and goods so many Southern states refused to free them. And then came Henry Clay a charming man who believes in capitalism he had an idea to create an American system which would make it so the Government put taxes on Imports, federally funded transportation projects and a new National Bank his idea was that if the government fulfilled these things then it would attempt to unify the Country by making it so people could count on agriculture and the Bank more. The cement of this union is the heart-blood of every American".-Thomas Jefferson.
Art, art in this place is unique it is a mixture of styles there is the painting of portraits , animals or birds even of Native Americans and then of course there is the paintings that common folk do like Folk art farmers paint on everyday items like hunting decoys,and weather vanes while the women turned scraps of cloth or rags into quilts. Most people did paintings of the American Flag or Patriotic symbols on signs or murals. Meanwhile the most experienced Artists made a living doing Portraits. One of the most well known Artists is Gilbert Stuart he was the one who painted the portrait of President George Washington that was put on the dollar bill. Then there were art schools like the Hudson River School of Painting where they mainly painted scenery or nature. But there were some Artists that were really naturalists like John James Audubon who painted detailed portraits of birds for his Birds of America book his pictures are so detailed and elaborate there is nothing like them back in France. "I am almost afraid to tell you of its beauties and advantages. it is just such a place as in England could not be purchased for double the number of pounds of sterling"- Samuel Morse "Hudson River school of painting".
Music here is beautiful there is multiple genres there is classical music, Spirituals which were religious folk songs that were of African American origin, Anthems ,Minstrel songs and Callers where the song tells you the steps. There are many songs that are made from poems too like the Star Spangled Banner. There is also many Patriotic anthems here the best known one is "America" by Samuel Francis Smith in 1832. "My country, 'tis of thee" and is sung to the tune of England's "God Save the King"-Francis smith" America". When Classical music was played many people did dances like Waltzes,minuets,gavottes, and mazurkas. while doing these dances some women lift up there dresses to show off there foot work which I heard was quite daring.
Literature in America is unlike any other place in the world I came here to write a story about what it was like to be an American in the 1800's and if you want to know the details of being a Pioneer or Explorer you must read Davey Crockett" We got over, and that evening turned out and killed three bears, in little or no time"-Davey Crockett His work shows Individualism how one man can kill a huge bear or how one man can just go out into the snowy wilderness and thrive off of mother nature it shows what is like to be self reliant. If you are more into very tall tails or story's to be passed through the generations You must read Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle or Sleepy Hollow." But he set them in the wilds of upstate New York Irving's Enchanted Stories were an Immediate hid if you were into fairy tails. Now if you liked The story's of Native America tribes then you must read James Fenimore Coopers story The Last Of The Mohicans or his tail The Pioneers his Books were being fought over to publish even in France. "For they were company to a body, hurting nothing-being, as it was, as harmless as a garter-snake", -James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers.
And now I must conclude my vast journey and go home to France It was an amazing journey to come here and I learned so much I learned the good and the bad. I learned about the amazing literary writers James Fenimore Cooper, Davey Crockett,And Washington Irving. I saw Folk art done by farmers Portraits done by Gilbert Stuart , amazing paintings of scenery done by the Hudson River School of Painting, and amazing bird Paintings done by John James Audubon. I've heard many kinds of music that I wouldn't of even thought would have existed Anthems, Spirituals etc. they are amazing. And the Politics I have learned so much about there government and political views I've learned how they choose laws and punishments to make sure they are just and fair. But I have also seen the bad things the other side of things every coin has to sides and so does every country and this country's other side is called slavery, discrimination, and Racism against African Americans and Native Americans. And though I still do not believe in slavery and think that is one of the worst things in the world the only thing i can do right now is go back to France and Publish my book and let people know what it is like in America the good and the Bad.
Bower, Bert, and Diane Hart. History Alive!: The United"Notable Hudson River School Quotations.
2. " Notable Hudson River School Quotations. Ed. Isabelle Havet. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2017. States through Industrialism. Palo Alto, CA: Teachers' Curriculum Institute, 2011. Print.
3. "30 Of The Greatest Patriotic American Quotes In US History." AddictingInfo. N.p., 04 July 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.
4. "Slavery Quotes." Slavery Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.