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9.9: Conclusion

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    264107
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    Monroe’s election after the conclusion of the War of 1812 signaled the death knell of the Federalists. Some predicted an “era of good feelings” and an end to party divisions. The War had cultivated a profound sense of union among a diverse and divided people. Yet that “era of good feelings” would never really come. Political division continued. Though the dying Federalists would fade from political relevance, a schism within the Republican Party would give rise to a new brand of Jacksonian Democrats. Meanwhile, despite the virtually total elimination of property requirements for voting, political limits continued along class, gender, and racial and ethnic lines. At the same time, industrialization and the development of American capitalism required new justifications of inequality as compatible with a democratic nation and nativitist reactions to changing demographics would parcel “true” Americans from dangerous or undeserving “others.” Still, a cacophony of voices clamored to be heard and and struggled to realize a social order compatible with the ideals of equality and individual liberty. The meaning of democracy was in flux, as it always was.

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