books which might be of general interest to students of the "Early
Republic" period -- If you find any worth purchasing after following
one of these links, a portion will go to support of this web site:
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris by David McCullough a "story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors,
politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for
Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their
The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs. From book description: "For more than three decades, Jeffrey D. Sachs has been at the forefront
of international economic problem solving. But Sachs turns his
attention back home in The Price of Civilization, a book that is
essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and
personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of
our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to
restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the
foundations of national prosperity.
While Sabbatarianism was more of a coherent
movement, those who opposed restrictions on Sunday mail, Sunday travel,
etc. were sometimes called anti-sabbatarians. One prominent anti-sabbatarian
was the colorful Richard M. Johnson, whose words
on the subject can be easily found in the Annals
of America, vol 5, selection 20 (p284).
The religious doctrine that the fate of an individual (particularly whether
they go to Heaven or Hell), is ultimately up to that individual. Contrary
to the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and God's unfathomable choosing
of some few humans to be saved (none of whom deserve it). Traditional Presbyterians
and Conservative congregationalists tended to reject Arminianism,
while Methodists thoroughly embraced it, and New School Presbyterians (see
Beecher and Charles Grandison
Finney), leaned strongly in that direction.
Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) was a Dutch clergyman and rebel against
the Calvinist doctrines of the Reformed Church. Like many other scholars
of his time, he went by an assumed Latin name.
Era of Good Feelings
The period between the first and second American party systems
First Party System
The first segmentation of American politics into a 2 party system emerged
during and after Washington's
presidency. The Federalist party was mostly concentrated
in the northern states. It tended towards a consolidated national government
This phrase came to stand for those, of the Republican
party, such as John Quincy Adams,
and Henry Clay, who favored a program
of knitting together the United States into an "American
System" with national transportation works, and national policies on
trade, often including tariffs to protect American manufacturers.
Generally meant repeal of the union between Britain and Ireland, to
the extent of letting Ireland have its own Parliament again.
Initially, and up 'til the 1830s it was sometimes, at least interchangeable
with Democrat, or the phrase "Democratic
Republican" was used, to describe "party of Jefferson", and what was
left of it after Jefferson, and later the Party of Jackson, until that
became know simply as the Democratic party.
When the Federalist party collapsed around
end of the War of 1812, there was, for 10 years,
a sense that there were no parties - this state of things often referred
to at the "Era of Good Feelings".
See "National Republican".
A strict and legally enforced observance of the Sabbath was a feature of
many early American communities, especially in New England.
One of the religiously inspired "reform movements" of the 1820s and
1830s was called the Sabbatarian movement, which opposed such prevalent
practices as Sunday mail delivery (a sin by our own federal government
no less), or the running of stage coaches, canal lines, and other modes
of transportation. Lewis Tappan
was one such zealous Sabbatarian.
Second Party System
"The science of philosophy is simply a science of observation. [we must]
analyze all these our sensations, thoughts, and emotions ... examine the
qualities of our own internal, sentient matter, with the same, and yet
more, closeness of scrutiny, that we have applied to the examination of
the matter that is without us: finally to investigate the justness of our
moral feelings, and to weigh the merit and demerit of human actions; which
is in other words, to judge their tendency to produce good or evil, --
to excite pleasurable or painful feelings in ourselves or others ... all
is simply a process of investigation." Frances Wright, A Few Days in
Athens (Boston 1850), p173, quoted in Eckhardt,
Whether this is a true version of the philosophical position (nearly
synonymous with empiricism?) or not Frances Wright's statement represents
an important tendency in American thought of this period, which, in somewhat
different forms, infused the thoughts of both radical utilitarians like
her, and orthodox Unitarians.
This idea that we should above all consult our senses in all our actions
is generally held by its proponents to be liberating. They, or at least
Jacksonian American proponents of this way of thinking, tend to hold that
ideals, a priori truths, inspirations, etc., are all superstitions
that will mislead and quite possibly enslave us.
War of 1812
You can support this site at no cost
if you make an Amazon purchase using
this link to get to Amazon: