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History of the US before 1877 - Research Paper Example

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The War of 1812: A Catalyst for Political Change When George Washington left his office as President of the United States, he left a few warnings regarding how the country should run. One of these bullet points was that we should not interfere or interact with any foreign nation…
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History of the US before 1877
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Download file to see previous pages There was also American interest to expand west, which was currently owned by Great Britain as well as blockades against America due to the war with France. Many historians consider the War of 1812 to be the second American Revolution due to the fact that once the war started; America was again fighting for its right to be a sovereign nation. Unlike the American Revolution, the fighting took place by both land and sea. The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815. One of the many changes that occurred both during and after the war was the political system of the United States. This change is important due to its step in the progression of United States politics (Grodzinski 2008, 28-51). The development of politics prior to the war of 1812 was a crucial step once the United States achieved its independence from Great Britain. Under George Washington, there was no real party system, however some of the main arguments about the constructs of government existed, which would still radiate through the history of the development of the United States. Since the country had just fought a war from independence from a monarchy, this was the last type of system of government that they wanted. The biggest debate was the idea of states’ rights and power versus the power of the federal government. Each side had a different attitude as far as how the country should be run, how the economy should develop, and how we should deal with foreign nations. This difference in attitude is what leads to the development of the first party systems in the United States, which carry on to current day. The other main problem that George Washington addressed when he left office was his advice to stay away from partisanship. Nevertheless, a two-party system emerged in American politics. Prior to the War of 1812, the two main political parties in the United States were the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalist Party favored a strong centralized government, whereas the Democratic-Republican Party was in favor of states’ rights. One of the newest ways in which political information and propaganda was through newspapers, which could now be mass-produced using the printing press. As a result, the people were more involved with events happening in the legislature. This furthered the growth of political coalitions and support. The Democratic-Republican Party was extremely anti-European in that they wanted nothing to do with Great Britain and supported the war. The Federalist combated this with the Jay Treaty, which was a way of trying to forestall war, which inevitably came (Hickory 1989, 72-100). After the United States won the War of 1812, the era known as the “Era of Good Feelings” came about over the United States. This is one of the only times in United States history in which there was only one main power player in the political system, which was the Democratic-Republican Party. The Federalist Party, which had opposed the war, lost a majority of its support and eventually became non-existent. The lack of partisanship was ushered by President Monroe, who like Washington, was not in favor of partisanship in government. Even though the majority of the period between from 1817 to 1825, attitudes were starting to shift would eventually lead to the debate over whether slavery should exist or not. Unfortunately, this crisis was only averted for a short amount of time with the passing of the Missouri Compromise, which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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