Growth of a Nation Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

War of 1812, the nation settled into a sense of smugness that would be known as the Era of Good Feelings. The Era of Good Feelings was a term coined by a Boston-area newspaper in 1817, during newly elected President James Monroe's fifteen-state tour (Miller Center, n.d.). In its post-war intoxication, America would overlook some of its most pressing problems during the Era of Good Feelings. Monroe capitalized on the public's perception that all was well in the United States. Even more important for the strength of the Monroe presidency was the fact that the President's party became the only viable one after the demise of the Federalists. This meant that Monroe felt well empowered as president during the Era of Good feelings, which lasted until about 1825. Whether the period between the end of the War of 1812 and the Monroe Doctrine elicited "good feelings" depended largely on one's views regarding key issues like slavery and westward expansion.

The reasons why the Monroe Presidency included the Era of Good Feelings included economic growth and prosperity, national security, and political stability. As Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl (n.d.) point out, "the foundations for a continental-scale economy were laid," especially as railroads, canals, and turnpikes linked geographically remote areas and enabled them to participate in the burgeoning economy (p. 112). By the time the Monroe Doctrine was issued, America had fully affirmed its strength and became determined to engage in an aggressive campaign of westward expansion based on the notion of Manifest Destiny. Ignoring the rights of slaves in the South and Native Americans throughout the continent, the era could be classified as one that brought "good feelings" to those in a position of power and privilege.

Even some African-Americans in northern states enjoyed a piece of their American pie during the Era of Good Feelings, which generally brought job growth and prosperity to the nation (Kennedy, Cohen & Piehl, n.d.). A new national banking system, the protection of American industry from European encroachment through a series of effective tariffs, and federal public works projects like transportation initiatives bolstered the sense that this was the Era of Good Feelings ("The Era of Good Feelings and the Two-Party System," n.d.).

From the perspective of politicians, the downfall of the Federalist party immediately prior to the Monroe presidency had ushered in an era of good feelings for another reason altogether. It allowed…

Sources Used in Document:


Kennedy, Cohen, Piehl (n.d.) The Brief American Pageant.

Miller Center (n.d.). American President: Life in Brief. Retrieved online:

"The Era of Good Feelings and the Two-Party System," (n.d.). Retrieved online:

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