1817 Era of Good Feeling

White House

The phrase "Era of Good Feeling," first appearing in the Boston "Columbian Centennial," took root during Monroe's tour of New England. This marked the first time since Washington and the last time in American history that the President had the support of the entire country.

The idea of the Era of Good Feeling originated from the deepest political desires of the time. Political theorists believed that parties were bad for democracy and the framers of the Constitution had hoped that there would not be any political parties. The era came about not as result of the achievement of the goal but rather the failure of the Federalist Party and its near disintegration. It was Madison's hope that the one party rule that he enjoyed would evolve into true non-partisanship. That was not to be. The collapse of the Federalist Party resulted in people with diverse political views joining the Republican Party. Within a short period of time the party had lost its cohesion, and instead of partisanship politics, devolved into a period of factionalism.