Nationalism Essay, Research Paper
After the War of 1812, an outbreak of patriotism spread to most Americans. Nationalism was at its greatest height because the United States of America had just Fought to a draw with the world s greatest military, Great Britain. The country began to prosper yet the prosperity led to sectional divisions. Whereas the War of 1812 led to an increase in nationalism, the increased patriotism led to a rise in sectionalism. Nationalism had spread to political and economical ideology causing sectional disagreements in those same areas.
Post war of 1812 political ideas and events contained a nationalistic overtone, which eventually led to sectional disagreements. The Era of Good Feelings, from 1815 to 1825, was the national mood as first described by the Boston Columbian Sentinel. However, the term mainly referred to politics. As a result of the decline of the Federalist party, the United States held in practice a one-party political system. In 1820 Monroe was received all but one electoral vote, which showed the country s unity. The political harmony led to an increase in nationalism. The political document, the Monroe Doctrine also expressed an increase in patriotism. The doctrine stated that The United States would stay out of European affairs and Europe should stay out of Western Hemisphere dealings. It declared the U.S to be independent from Europe and the citizens took great pride in the declaration.
The increased political unity and prosperity, led to sectionalist arguments. Being that there was only one dominant political party, the Jeffersonians lacked an organized opposition and thus became less aggressive and factional disputes increased. During the election of 1824, followers of Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams began calling themselves National Republicans, while supporters of Andrew Jackson emerged as Democratic Republicans. Their sectional arguments led to the demise of the Republican party. The largest sectional debate, which occurred as a result of the country s political balance, was the Missouri Comprise. Before Missouri entered the union in 1812, the senate was evenly balanced between slave and abolitionist states. Thus, Maine was separated from Massachusetts and entered, as a free state while Missouri became a slave state.
Economic Prosperity occurred from a strong aura of nationalism. Henry Clay s American System was based upon a men s nationalistic pride. His plan called for sections to compromise on issues for the good of the nation. In return for eastern support of a policy of federal aid in the construction of roads and canals, the West would back the protective tariff. The system would be successful if men believed in prosperity for the whole nation and not only factions of the country. The country had paid off its debt and the citizens rejoiced. Monroe accepted the principle of using federal aid for transportation projects because the country had paid off its debts. Citizens expressed joy over the construction of roads. Industry also developed after the war provided more economic opportunities for people. This caused an influx in immigration and instilled a sense of national pride in the people.
Following the economic prosperity caused by the War of 1812, depression occurred in the country. The depression of 1819-1822 increased tensions by making people feel more strongly about the issues of the day. Manufacturers who wanted high tariffs in 1816 were more vehemently in favor of a protection tariff in order to save their businesses. The North favored a protective tariff because they felt it was necessary to shield their manufacturing industries from foreign competition. The South rejected a tariff because industry failed to develop and high duties on imports would limit the foreign market for Southern staple crops by inhibiting international exchange. The North was against the new National Bank because it was lending out credit to readily which led to a depression. The South approved of the Bank because it was lending out money to farmers and operating on a more inmate level with the farmers living in small southern towns.
The increased nationalism after the War of 1812 led to an increase in sectional debates in politics and economics. It was the natural course of events for a developing and expanding country to undergo increased patriotism and regional disagreements. These two factors allowed for the country s great minds to solve problems and establish a correct governmental system to oversee the well being of a country, which reached from sea to shining sea.