Nationalism, not sectionalism, was the driving force during the era of good feelings. Nationalism became the leading ideology of the American republic. While sectionalism proceeded in bringing the nation into turmoil and constant bickering among the politicians, as in the case with dealings leading to the Missouri compromise, nationalism was able to unite the nation into a headstrong body, led by an ever-increasing, more powerful central government.
Nationalism, many can argue, was a guiding light that helped the populous in Europe unite. As early as the late great Roman Empire, it was that notion of being a part of a uniform body of civil, governed people who helped these places flourish. In early 19th century America, during the "Era of Good Feelings" as one newspaper put it, Americans began to root themselves in all that the nation stood for which helped them in turn begin to think about moving the United States into a respectable position among the world's super powers.
For example, Stephen Decatur toasts the country and acknowledges that it is our country, for better or for worse. This is a sharp contrast to the views of our founding fathers because George Washington himself, the "father of our nation", saluted king George although he was a part of the attempt to establish a separate nation. Poets and writers also began to capture the nation's spirit.
In her Address to the New York State Legislature, Emma Hart Willard, explains how America has no problem in setting precedents and taking risks for the benefit of the country. For example, did the country take a risk in having a democracy instead of a monarchy? The answer to this question is yes, because no one in the history of the world before America, was able to successfully run a...