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Federalist or Democratic-Republican? The Democratic – Republican Party was the start of our two political parties today. Although our more modern republican and democratic parties were founded because of the Democratic – Republican Party originated in 1791, our present-day parties are very different than they were then. Federalists preferred a National Bank, tariffs, and desired to stay on good terms with Britain. They consisted of typically ‘upper-class’ and supported Implied Powers. While the Democratic-Republican Party believed more in the rights of the states and opposed a National Bank. They virtually remained completely ‘anti-administration’. In 1854, I believe, the Democratic-Republican Party separated into the two parties we have now (Democratic and Republican). Currently having a Democratic and Republican Party, the view of democracy from then and now not much has changed. Of course there have been changes over the years but the Democratic Party still shares the same views as the Democratic-Republican Party did in 1828.
Andrew Jackson’s idea of government in his eyes should offer “equal protection and equal benefits”. Voting had been limited to only a select group of Americans until the 1820’s, due to the fact that it was restricted to white male property owners and taxpayers. Blacks, even if they were free could not vote anywhere in the south and very rarely in the north. Women were not allowed to vote at all. Liberal governments before 1828 were fairly democratic. By the 1820’s practically every state changed their voting requirements, now allowing nearly all white males over 21 to vote. Since the 1790’s as states eliminated their “property qualification” for voting, parties became increasingly democratic. In my opinion with the voting requirements becoming less and less strict, this change gave ordinary people more insight and ambition for the want to vote for their choice of who their president should be. It gave the people more control.
By 1828 the presidential elections were done by popular vote. Unlike before, until 1820, candidates for president were chosen by party caucuses in congress. The election of Andrew Jackson, debated by historians, molded the ‘Two Party System’, leading to the American Political system we have today. President Jackson was part of the Democratic-Republican Party.
The Era of Good Feelings is how they described the strong feeling of nationalism America had after the war of 1812. In 1814 when a peace agreement was made and the Treaty of Ghent was signed, tensions between the two political parties began to subside. It seemed to bring about a unity among America, and a peaceful thought of no longer facing significant international threats. Many benefits came from this throughout America. (Time period 1815-1824)
After the war congress chose to encourage manufacturing within America, eliminating imports. Consequently, the American textile industry began to see dramatic growth. In 1807 congress had permitted a National Road, but the War of 1812 had limited its progress. By 1818 the National Road ran a fairly decent way through America. Soon the British blockade removed Atlantic shipping, supplementary funds were needed to accommodate the north-south traffic. Unfortunately, Madison vetoed the bill presented that would allow funds, on the grounds that congress was believed to not have the authority to fund the enhancements without a constitutional amendment.
Expanding westward became rapid after the war. The idea of moving west intrigued white settlers. There was much more land. Indians were still being pushed westward by the government, their policy continued even after the war. Fur traders and other firms started expanding and developing key relationships with the Indians. Previously fur traders had bought most of their pelts from the Indians, but not they were joining them in their hunt for fur. An example would be John Jacob Astor’s Fur Company.
Eventually in 1816 the Federalist Party was nonexistent. But by the 1820’s, a two party system was emerging again, and by 1828 it was in effect. The parties became known as the National Republicans and the Democratic Republicans. America, after Jackson’s election, was now considered to be in a ‘new era of democracy’ (also known as Era of the Common Man).
Although the Era of Good Feelings did have its flaws, I feel its benefits far outweighed its downfalls. In my opinion, the change in democracy, brought about an additional nationalism feeling. It spread vastly through America bringing about many benefits for the people. The changes that were made gave the people a superior feeling about their government and allowed for many new opportunities for the American people.
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