Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

Department of History

Advisor(s)

J. Chris Arndt, Ph.D.

P. David Dillard, Ph.D.

Alison Sandman, Ph.D.

Abstract

Late victories in the War of 1812, like General Andrew Jackson’s triumph in the Battle of New Orleans rekindled the growing sense of nationalistic fervor that had appeared after the American Revolution. Americans saw themselves as a people with a unique destiny granted by God. Between the 1780s and the 1820s, different political party visions of American identity competed. The Jeffersonians were agrarian-focused. They envisioned a nation based on the morality of citizens. Federalists saw a more hierarchical, European-like society as the best hope for the American cause. These competing visions of identity led to continued attacks by the leading party factions against one another. After the War of 1812, Jeffersonian driven accusations of treason decimated pro-British Federalists. Jeffersonians painted Federalists as conspirators seeking to abandon the United States. Federalists lost what power they had, and all but dissolved. The Jeffersonian vision of identity proved triumphant, but it had evolved over the course of the Early Republic, no longer calling for a small agrarian Republic. The Jeffersonians, or Republicans, had created a more pronounced American identity that fused elements of the Jeffersonian and Federalist Parties. By Andrew Jackson’s Presidency in 1828, American identity continued to evolve into a populist vision, showcasing the molding of Americanism in the Early Republic.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.