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The Era of Good Feelings

The years following* the end of the War of 1812 have been called the “era of good feelings” because of their apparent lack of partisan political strife. In the Election of 1816, James Monroe decisively defeated the last of the Federalist candidates. Monroe was overwhelmingly reelected in the Election of 1820 with no opposition whatsoever. Domestic politics under Monroe revolved around three main issues:

Monroe’s major foreign affairs issues involved the following: The economic life of the country was impacted by technological developments in several overlapping transportation eras: The Turnpike Era, the Canal Craze, the Railroad Era and the Steamboat Era. Changes in the ways Americans moved people and goods was paralleled by similar changes in the way products were produced—the United States was a full partner in the First Industrial Revolution. At about the same time that the Industrial Revolution was starting in the North, events were occurring that would transform the South. A cotton culture emerged in that region, which revived the institution of slavery. One of the leading journals promoting the philosophy of the Era of Good Feelings was Niles Weekly Register, founded in 1811. Hezekiah Niles believed strongly in the American national purpose and his publication, supported entirely by subscriptions and carrying no advertising, was highly influential at the time. Niles, however, so danger in the future and advocated conciliation on the issue of slavery in America.
*Some would argue that the era, despite the war, started in the late 18th century, about a decade after the Treaty of Paris ended the War of Independence.