Era of Good Feelings – was the time in the history of the United States from 1815 to 1825. But the Era was generally considered concurrent with President James Monroe’s two terms from 1817 to 1825. The Era of Good Feeling really began in 1815, when American citizens payed less attention to European military affairs thanks to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The good feelings were stimulated by two events of 1816, during the last year of the presidency of James Madison. First, the enactment of the first U.S. acknowledged protective tariff and the establishment of the second National Bank. With the decline of the Federalists the United States was a one-party state on a national level. Monroe secured all but one electoral vote in 1820. Sectionalism was replaced by nationalism. Even though, the Era of Good Feelings had little political disagreements, there were still tensions among the people. A major issue was rising in regards to slavery. However, despite these tensions the effect that unified America was defeating Britain, it was an undeniable feeling for the people of the United States.
The Louisiana purchase – The Louisiana purchase occurred on July 4th, 1803. It was an area that today would have stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, Montana to Louisiana, covering 828 thousand square miles. From 1699 until 1762, the French were in control of this area. After that, the French gave this region to their then allies, the Spanish. But in 1800 the territory was taken back by the French people under the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. However, those plans changed as Napoleon was focusing on the preparations for the war with the British Empire. The land ended up being sold to the United States for a price of 15 million dollars. It is estimated that one acre of land ended up costing three cents, this bargain by Jefferson was one of the biggest achievements he had in his career as the President of the United States.
John Quincy Adams – was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on July 11th, 1767. He was the first President who was the son of a President, John Adams, one of the founding fathers and the second President of the United States. John Quincy Adams graduated from Harvard College as a lawyer. He started a career in politics at the age of 26 when he became the minister to the Netherlands, went on to the Berlin Legation and was appointed by President Madison as the ambassador to Russia. Under Jefferson he served as the Senator for Massachusetts. And he was the Secretary of State under James Monroe. Later in the year 1824 he became President and served only one term. A few years after his term he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, making him the only President to become a Congressman after being President. He served 18 years in the House of Representatives, fighting hard against slavery.
In 1796, Adams was elected as the Federalist nominee for President. Thomas Jefferson led the opposition for the Democratic-Republican Party. Adams became the second President of the United States by a narrow margin. While Adams was President, the United States government moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. Adams was the first President to live in the White House. During Adams’s presidency the Department of Navy and the Marine Corps was established. The war between the French and British was causing great difficulties for the United States on the high seas and in some factions within the Nation. Adams’s administration focused all its diplomatic efforts on France, as France government had suspended commercial relations. Per Adams request, three commissioners were sent to France to negotiate. But the French refused any negotiations unless the United States agreed to pay what turned out to be a bribe. This was also known as the “XYZ Affair”.
When this became known to the public, the Nation broke out in favor of war. Adams, however, did not call for a declaration of war, despite some naval hostilities that occurred. The war and its associated taxes provoked domestic unrest, resulting in incidents such as Fries’s Rebellion. In response to these issues, both foreign and domestic, the Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts. Signed by the President, these acts made it more difficult for immigrants to become U.S. citizens. It also allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were presumed dangerous or who happened to be from a hostile nation. As well as criminalized making false statements that were critical for the federal government. The Federalist majority argued that these bills strengthened the national security during a time of conflict, while on the other hand the Democratic-Republicans criticized the laws. By the year 1800, this undeclared war had ended, and Adams had become significantly less popular with the public. This greatly affected his re-election campaign in 1800 which he lost, with only a few less electoral votes than Thomas Jefferson, who then became the President. The last day of his presidency, Adams tried to appoint as many Federalist as possible into available positions as justices of the peace. This was supposed to be a plan against the incoming Democratic-Republican party, also known as the “Midnight Judges”. The judicial appointments were not delivered on time which resulted in failure.
The war of 1812 was an unnecessary war in which almost nothing was achieved. It seemed to have many reasons why it happened. Some of the biggest reasons was the capturing of around 3800 American sailors by the British Royal Navy and forcing them into their service, the Orders in Council that restricted the trade between the United States and the European Continent, and the desire of the American people to expand their territory. The Americans were not allowed to trade with the French as the British were fighting with them in the Napoleonic war. This was also another reason why this war was unnecessary to the British, they were already fighting with the French for several years. But the Americans saw this as an opportunity to gain total independence from Europe and to continue with the expansion of its territory. Over the course of the war, Americans suffered several losses from the British, Native Americans and Canadians. In August 1814, a significant event of this war was the British forces capturing and burning the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C. Later on, the Americans repulsed the British forces in New York, New Orleans and Baltimore. At the of the war neither side has gotten anything out of this war, it affected more Canadians and Native Americans, who saw it as a deciding turning point in their losing struggle to govern themselves. Another irony of this war was its greatest battle in New Orleans, which was fought just after the peace was signed, also known as the Treaty of Ghent. Besides numerous human lives lost in this war, not many things were achieved. Americans felt pride after the news of the battle in New Orleans, which raised patriotism to a whole new level. The war of 1812 was also known amongst Americans as the second Independence war, which boosted self-confidence of the nation and greatly affected the expansionism. After the Treaty of Ghent was signed, the British dropped their attempts to change the Canadian boundary and to establish a Native American state in the Northwest. All support to the Native Americans from the British had come to end.
In conclusion, the War of 1812 (which could have had a better name, “Second Independence War”, “The British-American Conflict”, “The Trade War”, etc.) affected the people of the United States in a great matter, it was the necessary step towards the expansion of the American territory. It was an important war for the Americans that left them prideful and confident. They were able to prove to the world that they could hold their own and defend themselves, their rights, and their beliefs.
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