TAS: Revisiting the Era of Good Feelings: The Politcs of the Post-War of 1812 United States

Thursday, March 22, 2012Friday, March 23, 2012

9 am - 3 pm

Room B92 (March 22) and Towner Fellows Lounge (March 23)

Programs for Teachers
Chicago Teachers as Scholars

In 2012 Americans will commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which pitted the United States against Great Britain for the second time in a generation. While it would be a mistake to call the conflict a victory for the young republic, the fact that the United States survived as an independent nation was itself a triumph, and the postwar peace unleashed an exuberant nationalism that ushered in an era of massive territorial expansion, rapid economic development, and uneven political democratization. In this seminar, we will explore the innovations, intrigues, conflicts, and contradictions that defined the decade following the War of 1812 (what historians once called “the Era of Good Feelings”). Via close readings of primary documents as well as interaction with the Newberry Library’s War of 1812 exhibit, we will engage key controversies that animated politics during this tumultuous time: the role of government in directing the economy, the place of Native Americans within the expanding republic, the future of slavery, and the very nature and extent of American citizenship. As a group we’ll tackle the paradox at the heart of the post-War of 1812 decade: how was it that by 1828 (when Andrew Jackson was elected president), Americans were somehow both more united and more divided than ever before?

Seminar led by Daniel Graff, University of Notre Dame

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Teachers as Scholars is program exclusively for Chicago Public Schools teachers.