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“Era of Good Feelings”: a MisnomerIn 1815, still recuperating from war and threats of secession, America entered into a phase now referred to as the “Era of Good Feelings”. The era first started taking shape during the War of 1812, when strident partisan disagreements appeared to take a sideline and an intense American spirit became nearly ubiquitous. Staunch Federalists paid the price for breaking this spirit through talk of secession at the Hartford Convention, when national outrage flared. The Federalist Party became associated with treason and parochialism, and its viability was destroyed. Subsequently, all American politics congealed around the Democratic Republicans. For a brief period of time, their political dominance dampened the …show more content…
At the turn of the nineteenth century, the American populace was concentrated along the coast, but according to the population density map by 1820, modest-sized establishments of 18-45 people per square mile had begun to spring up as far west as Missouri (Doc E). Men such as Calhoun noted the alarming rate of Westward Expansion, and, in accordance with the American System, advocated the further creation of a system of roads and canals to connect the east and west and safeguard against disunion (Doc B). This unification effort further increased the influx of Easterners pouring into West in search of new land with arable soil. Land sales mushroomed and land prices increased exponentially, leading to speculative land ventures. Uncontrolled wildcat state banks funded these endeavors, often lending recklessly, ultimately creating a bubble. When the National bank, observed this abuse of credit, it recalled its deposits from the state banks. Mass foreclosures coupled with the foreign competition that reduced the demand for American foodstuffs plunged several farmers into debt, ruining their livelihoods during the six year, systemic collapse, known as the Panic of 1819. The National Bank, which had at first initiated friction between states and the federal government because of its intrusive measures in state economic …show more content…
In 1819, the Union existed in a precarious balance of eleven free states and eleven slave states, with western expansion threatening to upset it. Although the Northwest Ordinance did not define an explicit line of demarcation between future slave and free states, the generally lateral nature of westward expansion mitigated the need for one. However, when the territory of Missouri applied for admission to the Union as a slave state, crisis ensued. Representative James Tallmadge, Jr. incited chaos when he proposed an amendment to the bill for Missouri’s admission that would prohibit the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and mandate the gradual end of slavery. After the amendment was struck down in the senate, several northern reform groups began protesting. Former Federalists jumped on the opportunity to return to politics. Southerners were equally aggravated because, as they viewed it, slavery was a property issue, and therefore a state issue, not a federal one. Only through ‘The Great Compromiser’, Henry Clay’s uncanny ability to settle disputes, was the Missouri Compromise reached by deciding that Maine’s application for statehood would retain balance. To prevent further confusion the southern border of Missouri, the 36º30' parallel, was established as the demarcating line. The Compromise only temporarily cooled tensions between the

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