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What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
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AMERICAN HISTORY > 3. WHAT GOD HATH WROUGHT- AN ERA OF GOOD AND BAD FEELINGS , CHAPTER 3 (91 - 124) ~ November 12th - November 18th; No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 37655 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of November 12, 2012 - November 18, 2012, we are reading Chapter Three of An Era of Good and Bad Feelings.

The third week's reading assignment is:

WEEK THREE: November 12, 2012 - November 18, 2012

3. An Era of Good and Bad Feelings (91 - 124)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book was kicked off on October 29th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up on or before November 12th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion.

Welcome,

~Bentley


TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

What Hath God Wrought The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe by Daniel Walker Howe

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS ARE EXTREMELY DENSE SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

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If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

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Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

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Bibliography

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http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

TOC and the Syllabus

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Book as a Whole Thread

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What Hath God Wrought The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe by Daniel Walker Howe


message 2: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig The text-books talk about this period as the "Era of Good Feelings." Well, not really. I think Howe has it correct, there was opposition.


message 3: by Bryan (last edited Nov 12, 2012 07:42AM) (new) - added it

Bryan Craig Personally, I think it is in our DNA. There will always be two different view points and we will group ourselves with like-minded people. And I think there is ambition with like-minded people.

Specifically in this time period, I think it was a shift in parties. With the demise of the Federalists, you don't seem to have the strong national party opposition. Monroe took advantage of this. However, as the Democrats began to emerge and Republicans having a broad umbrella, it was hard to sustain.


message 4: by P.J. (new) - rated it 1 star

P.J. Royal | 10 comments A most intriguing discussion - I think that factionalism really defined earliest America but in a positive way. Escaping from the narrow dictates of more regimented societies, colonists engaged in unfettered open debate and discussion regarding religion and politics. As the nation grew, encompassing ever more territory and ever more people is not the vision of a single party government a bit naive at the end of the day? Or is it even to be desired? One party acts as a check and balance on the other - there is incentive for oversight perhaps to a greater extent? I agree with Cheryl, the negativity is unfortunate, but a product of that desire to win at all costs. But perhaps a sufficient portion of the electorate is able to see through such mechanisms and judge the candidate accordingly? But perhaps that is me now being naive!


message 5: by P.J. (new) - rated it 1 star

P.J. Royal | 10 comments Cheryl wrote: "Pj,

Your comments are very helpful to understand the ideal the young colonists were striving for, and the reality that came in Monroe's administration. And the reason for the failure to achieve t..."


Thank you Cheryl, for the stimulating discussion and really interesting points that you raised - renders the reading so much more engaging when you are able to discuss points and issues in such a fashion. Great to be a part of the group :)


Athens | 40 comments I enjoy the approach of showing several different Americas, if you will, competing to have their will.

Some modern commentators looking on today's scene remark on this condition as if somehow by implication at least, this is a modern arrangement only.

I would also observe that the factions are really on two key axes: cultural ethnicity on one hand and perceived best interest on the other hand.

These two axes are easily mistaken as being the same thing, or as being triggered only by culture/ethnicity.

I do believe they are philosophically different, and that it is more that their existing alignment makes them look like the same thing.

"The perceived best interests of white males in Connecticut" are not of necessity opposed to "the perceived best interests of Cajun females along the gulf coast".

Either in the long term or more immediately, the impacts of a tax policy, of an international event, of a crop failure, of a highway, etc may have equal impact on the interests of both groups, and both groups may independently come to their own conclusions about the impact of such events.

It is the forced marriage of cultural/ethnic group to perceived best interests that is used by politicians to keep groups segregated into loyal voting blocs.


message 7: by P.J. (new) - rated it 1 star

P.J. Royal | 10 comments interesting point Paul - thank you...speaks perhaps to our collective tendency to clump, categorize or pigeonhole. I think, as you point out, things are a little more complicated and perhaps subtle than that.


Athens | 40 comments Thanks, I promise this is not complaining. Promise. Just worth noting.


Katy (Kathy_H) I am a few chapters behind the reading assignment, but this is very well written and I am enjoying the read. Each paragraph contains so much information that it is a bit of a slower read for me, but I can see why this author won the Pulitzer.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Yes, Kathy- I also see the Pulitzer material here - Howe's a sharp enough writer to be able to draw the educator or interested general reader right in and give him a bit more depth to the story than he already knows.

I'm probably the ideal reader for this book. I have quite a lot of the framework or skeleton of the material, most of the names, dates, places, ideas and events are familiar as pieces and Howe is adding some new (to me) pieces, then putting them all together with his own explanatory remarks. This makes it a delight to read and I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1172 comments Well I am late to the party but catching up.

I am surprised at how many comments are about the political aspects - I also would no longer refer to Americans as colonists - maybe settlers.

The era of good feelings - look at what was accomplished (whether you like it or not) - Jackson expanding us into Florida - Quincy Adams (althought both he and Jackson were building their political persona and foundations) getting us Oregon, Florida - as far west as he did in Texas. And togehter with Monroe building the Monroe Doctrine (I think I didn't really realize before how much a part Quincy Adams seems to have played)

We are almost finished with American revolutionaries being president (Quincy Adams of course having been the tag-a-long with his father John on so many missions)

Then also the opportunity to try new things - radical such as the visionary Erie Canal.

And I think the thoughts of a single party system from a man such as Monroe who had a history of being a rebel against the British with his political contemporaries is understandable. The USA was still a young experiment.

There is also the continuing taking of American Indian lands etc.

So this book so far again helps me to understand a bit better the evolving American nation - and also we see the seeds of the Civil War appearing in Virginia's attitude that Virginia's law should override US Supreme Court rulings. - and the view of the "national unity" as a compact not as a SINGLE NATION.


message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Vince wrote: "... and also we see the seeds of the Civil War appearing in Virginia's attitude that Virginia's law should override US Supreme Court rulings. - and the view of the "national unity" as a compact not as a SINGLE NATION. "

I've heard it said that the Civil War changed the phrase "the United States are.." to "the United States is...".


message 13: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig Great synopsis, Vince, thanks. The country changed a lot.

Becky, you are right about that phrase.


Theresa | 84 comments I'm a little behind as I just started reading this a couple of weeks ago. I was really surprised by General Jackson blatant disregard for orders. As a soldier I expected him to take commands better. I'm guessing he knew how popular he became after the Battle of New Orleans and used the public support he enjoyed to carry out whatever agenda he saw fit. I am also very disappointed that no action was taken against him by Monroe. He even went out of his way to cover up the fact Jackson was disobeying direct orders so that it would seem Jackson was doing as he was told. I'm not sure if it's tampering with documents or just completely making up new documents and retro dating them. I wasn't clear on exactly what happened there. It's unfortunate for history's sake. Jackson has, for a long time, been my least favorite President and this chapter reaffirmed that for me.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1172 comments Theresa wrote: "I'm a little behind as I just started reading this a couple of weeks ago. I was really surprised by General Jackson blatant disregard for orders. As a soldier I expected him to take commands better..."

Hi Theresa
Welcome to our read.
Field command then - 1815 - before telegraph, cell phones etc - was much more commanding

Even in WW II General Patton drove his tanks towards Germany - against directives if not orders = till he ran out of gas.

In Korea Gen MacArthur was so non-obedient as to get fired - and depending upon your age you mihgt or might not know that he was the leading ground commander in the Pacific for us in WWII.

Just some background comments.


message 16: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig Thanks Theresa and Vince. Jackson was very popular among the people and he had a history of acting without consultation. I think once the battle was over and how popular he grew, Monroe probably didn't see any advantages of reprimanding Jackson.


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 37655 comments Mod
Great comments all.


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