AP US HISTORY DBQ - Era of Good Feelings

Essay by scottyg17High School, 11th grade March 2008

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The Era of Good Feelings was the title of the period after the war of 1812 between the years of 1815 and 1825. The accuracy of this label however, is not accurate. During this era the United States of America were in a period of economic problems, political turbulence, and a mixture of rapid expansion and division.

It is hard to believe that this time period was one of "Good Feelings" with an economy that kept many people very poor while only a few were able to profit much. In document A, John Randolph addresses congress in 1816. He states that "it is unjust, to aggravate the burdens of the people for the purpose of favoring the manufacturers". He is referring to the inequality between the manufacturers or factory owners and the agriculturalists or farmers. Many taxes during this era were placed on the agricultural industry. This taxation left many farmers in the middle and southern colonies struggling.

The level of poorness rose for them while in the urban areas factories and corporations that ran them were running "in the ring of pleasure" and could "fatten upon them". In Document B, John Calhoun says, "the extent of the republic exposes us to the greatest of calamities - disunity…we are rapidly growing… this is our weakness and our strength…let us, then, bind the republic together with a perfect system of roads…" This suggests the size and distance of our growing nation was going to be another source of disunity. Because of the distance and lack of roads and other means of transportation, communication and trade between regions lessened and they became more distant. Trade was such an important factor in the economy and binding the nation. The reason that this disunity and sectionalism is such a "calamity" is that the last...