The Era of Good Feelings
The Era of Good Feelings was a political period marked by presidency of Thomas Jefferson and decline of the Federalist Party, during which the US enjoyed a time of considerable patriotism and united national objective toward unity and expansionism. The era consisted of America’s financial affluence, much of which was contributed to the Federalist program, which included the chartering of a national bank, taxes on imported goods to protect native manufacturers, and carried out the road and canal system. The spirit of economy and westward expansion had further deepened the sense of political prosperity and sanguinity felt by the country. Furthermore, the Hartford convention had enhanced the power to eliminate unconstitutional federal acts, such as the Alien and Sedition Act, which were quickly repelled, increasing the general approval of the current presidency.
Likewise, the Second Great Awakening had also contributed to this optimism as the revival in pious devotion united many American followers in a contagious religious movement. Other political parties had not rallied themselves at the time due to the stable popularity of the Democratic-Republican Party that contributed from the wealth and apparent patriotism experienced by prosperous US citizens. During the Era of Good Feeling, President Jefferson’s status rather resembled the global Mandate of Heaven, where the lack of political competition and prosperity inspired a similar political divinity, similar to that of European monarchs. However, America’s idealized image of unity would begin to crack with the presence of the Panic of 1819, when the economy began to fall under a depression, which affected several urban employees and citizens. It stands to reason, that even without the presence of the Panic of 1819, the Era of Good Feelings would have failed to continue as the US environment had already presented signs of impending economic tension and political unrest, which opened the opportunity for more political parties to enter.