The obscurity of this war, however, should not blind us to its significance, for it was an important turning point, a great watershed, in the history of the young republic. It concluded almost a quarter of a century of troubled diplomacy and partisan politics and ushered in the Era of Good Feelings. It marked the end of the Federalist party but the vindication of Federalist policies, many of which were adopted by Republicans during or after the war. The war also broke the power of American Indians and reinforced the powerful undercurrent of Anglophobia that had been spawned by the Revolution a generation before. In addition, it promoted national self-confidence and encouraged the heady expansionism that lay at the heart of American foreign policy for the rest of the century. Finally, the war gave the fledgling republic a host of sayings, symbols, and songs that helped Americans define who they were and where their young republic was headed. Although looking to the past, the war was fraught with consequences for the future, and for this reason it is worth studying today.
Why should I, as an atheist, be expected to show respect for Christian, Islamic or Jewish cultures whose views and arguments I often find reactionary and often despicable? Why should public arrangements be adapted to fit in with the backward, misogynistic, homophobic claims that religions make? What is wrong with me wishing such cultures to 'wither away'? And how, given that I do view these and many other cultures with contempt, am I supposed to provide them with respect, without disrespecting my own views? Only, the philosopher Brian Barry suggests 'with a great deal of encouragement from the Politically Correct Thought Police'.
Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.