Era of Good Feelings Dbq
During the Era of Good Feelings, Nationalism and Sectionalism were both evident. However, sectionalism was the most important cause of disagreement within the country with the controversy over Missouri’s admission as a slave state, and the different views toward states’ rights throughout various sections of the country. When Missouri applied to become part of the union, they insisted on being a slave state.
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This upset the north due to their interest in a balance of power.
The Missouri Compromise was enacted with the help of Henry Clay in order to come to a conclusion to the political arguments between the North and South. It stated that in order for Missouri to be accepted as a slave state, Maine would come into the union as a free state. Also, slavery wasn’t to be permitted north of latitude 36? 30’. The long retired Thomas Jefferson expressed his alarm to the happenings in American government by comparing the sectional disunity to a “fire bell in the night [that] awaked and filled me with terror. (Document G) John Quincy Adams also stated that “If the union must be dissolved, slavery is precisely the question upon which it ought to break. ” (Document F) By simply drawing a line to determine boundaries of slavery, it was inevitable that neither side would be completely satisfied in the long run. Sectionalism was also evident through economical differences between the North and South. The South’s growing agricultural society relied heavily on slavery.
Inventions such as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin increased production of cotton vastly, and in return brought more slaves. In the North however, industry was the main priority. Many goods were manufactured in the North and transferred to the South for use in fields. When the Tariff of 1816 which taxed goods manufactured in the North was passed, nearly all southerners voted against it (Document H}. As disagreements arose, the idea of sectionalism continued to expand. The so called “Era of Good Feelings” faced problems of factional disagreements.
Sectional divisions were merely covered up by the unity of political parties during Monroe’s presidency. Although the parties seemed united, Eastern Republicans disagreed with the idea of internal improvements, which was a big part of Henry Clay’s “American System. ” On the other hand, John C. Calhoun supported the idea of internal improvements (Document D), but later became a leading advocate for state’s rights. Also, the Election of 1824 caused the Democratic Republican Party to splinter.
John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson were both members f the same party, but ran against each other due to disagreements based on their different sectional interests such as their view on protective tariffs. This destroyed the sense of national unity amongst the government, thus further establishing sectionalism. In closing, although the Era of Good Feelings seemed to be as era of national unity, the opposite was proven true. Examples such as the Missouri disagreements and the separation of the Democratic Republican party prove that sectionalism was evident. The difference of economic beliefs of the North and South ensured further conflict in the future.