The Effects of the Civil War on American National Identity



The advancements affected the nation’s identity in many different ways by making them a stronger, better nation. The War of 1812 helped American become more independent, the Era of good feelings created a positive impact when it had ended political warfare, and they wanted native Americans to move because they wanted land and gold. 

During the War of 1812, it helped advance the American's identity because they had shown they had become more skilled and independent. They had barely just started their nation when they had won or gotten a treaty with Great Britain during this war. The text had stated “Treaty of Ghent, officially ending the War of 1812. However, on January 8, 1815, unaware that war was over, British forces mounted a major attack against the city of New Orleans. Facing a much larger British force, American General Andrew Jackson took command of the city and built an unlikely alliance with a local band of pirates to win the battle. The victory boosted U.S. morale and left Americans with the taste of victory…” (Paragraph 6).  They had seen that even though they were off guard and had a very little army that they still won against the British. They had also finally got their peace with Britain. They felt good that they won because they didn’t even know this fight was happening. They had proved to themselves and to other countries that they had improved since they had first started fighting and becoming a nation. They also proved that they could handle it, so they would get treated with respect or more appealing manners. 

The Era of good feelings had shown that without two different political parties governing the states and nation would be easier. It also showed that it would be fairer to say there aren’t two different political parties when voting for a president, so you won’t have favorites depending on what type of political party you are.  The text stated “The absence of major political divisions after the War of 1812 helped forge a sense of national unity...This was best signified by the 1816 presidential election... Political differences between political parties seemed to fade away, causing a Boston newspaper to call these years, the Era of Good Feelings...encouraged the decline of the parties, believing that the government could operate without them…” (Green-political parties Paragraph 1).  This helped because now instead of having one side saying this and the other side disagreeing, but now they can come to some sort of agreement. They wouldn’t have to argue all the time about what was fair and what was not fair depending on their political party. They would finally work together to get things done and put their political beliefs aside to focus on what really matters and that was their nation because they needed to work together to make their nation and government better than ever before. They needed to work together to get things done and this showed them that. 

Lastly, they had sought Native American's land for money and for other resources. This was important to them for trade and their agriculture. They wanted to become a better nation and show the improvements they have made throughout their time as a new nation. The test states “Native American tribes to land west of the Mississippi River, in order to open new land for settlement by citizens of the United States...open up for settlement those lands...enable those states to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power...gold had been discovered on tribal lands…” They knew that moving on the Native Americans land would help them for crops and it would help improve their nation. The gold found on these tribal lands helped with wealth and power because they could use that to buy land, help with armies, and more. The land they wanted to settle on would be close to the Mississippi River which would help with their agriculture and trade because that was one of the most important pieces of land.