Nationalism and Sectionalism in America During the Late 1700s and Early 1800s

2536 Words Aug 22nd, 2013 11 Pages
America was founded by multiple states, from different regions and subsequently different styles of life, which made the possibility of their union unstable and uncertain. But, because they were united by a common goal- to break free of Britain’s despotic sovereignty- the American colonies were able to win their independence from Britain and become the United States of America. This dichotomy between the states’ different styles of life and their shared goal laid the foundation for the forces of nationalism and sectionalism in the US. The two opposing forces worked hand-in-hand to manipulate Americans’ views of one another and the American political and economic systems, though the force of sectionalism outweighed the force of nationalism …show more content…
However, there were others that did not support the war, such as the Federalists, believing that America was not ready for war with Britain. The Hartford Convention was a gathering of Federalists that opposed the War and discussed the changes that they wanted made, reintroducing the idea of nullification by undermining federal law. Other Americans called these Federalists traitors because they held their meeting while America was still at war, and also because some Federalists had even threatened to secede. The Hartford Convention, therefore, was a manifestation of the political sectionalism in the US. Meanwhile, the force of nationalism was counteracting the sectionalism with the composition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Battle of Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key, showing that America was strong and everlasting, even against impossible odds. The Battle of New Orleans was also a contributor to the force of nationalism because of America’s decisive victory over the British. It showed that America could win against Britain on its own, and gave Americans the sense that they were invincible because they had massively defeated the British. “…nationally the battle bolstered the ego of a young nation.” The War of 1812 allowed the US to break free from its colonial past and emerge as a new player on the world stage, gaining respect as a legitimate nation. This feeling of invincibility and superiority would…

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