ERA OF GOOD FEELINGS

Media houses termed the James Monroe reign between 1815 and 1825 as the Era of Good Feelings. The political rivalry and difference in opinion between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans subsided. Divisive debates over slavery, wars, tariffs, and the Second National Bank seemed to take a backseat. Unlike other chief executives in the past, President Monroe enjoyed immense popularity. However, this era collapsed in 1824 when four candidates participated in the presidential elections. Bad feelings culminated this period as politicians refused to compromise.

Factionalism within Jefferson’s party ended the Era of Good Feelings in the country.[1] The congressional caucus organized presidential nominations, which guaranteed participants an election. However, voters felt that that the system favored white males. So, when the caucus nominated William Crawford to run for the presidency, three other politicians showed interest in leading the nation. The voters witnessed the first contests between four candidates in the history of America.

Additionally, politicians felt that those in government used their position to further their interests. The pro-economic development regime supported the ventures of the elite. They ignored the will of the common people causing discontent among voters. In retaliation, various leaders came out to vie for the position of president[2]. Leaders, such as Jackson, wanted an inclusive government where all voters had a say. However, they failed to garner majority votes.

Moreover, the Era of Good Feelings ended when leaders refused to compromise. After the shaky James Madison administration, politicians from across the divide put aside their differences to support James Monroe run the nation. The previous government dealt with different problems including economic instability, protests, and the attack on Washington. Leaders did not want a repeat of the turmoil, thus, supported their president.

Finally, the Era of Good Feelings ended with bad feelings because of national division. The country was divided with one faction supporting Hamilton and the other backing Jefferson[3]. Over time, the animosity between these two camps intensified. As a result, each party sought for support from Congress, the legislature, and the executive. The Jeffersonians endorsed candidates for the different position including Congress and the presidency[4]. The Federalists followed suit by competing for the support of the mass electorate.

In conclusion, Americans wanted a peaceful government where all leaders put the interests of the people ahead of theirs. James Monroe granted their wishes. He formed an inclusive state. However, congressional caucus made it difficult for politicians to compromise. Those outside government felt that nominations were biased. Leaders refused to cooperate with a non-inclusive government.

[1] Tindall, George Brown, and David E. Shi. America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016, 123

[2] Ibid, 23

[3] Tindall, George Brown, and David E. Shi. America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016.

[4] Ibid, 34