Friday, March 21, 2008
The "Era of Good Feelings,” a phrase coined in 1817 by Benjamin Russell in the Boston Newspaper the Columbian Centinel, is the period roughly from 1815 to 1824. Russell, veteran of the revolutionary army, published the Centinel bi-weekly for 40 years. Over that time period it became a great influence on the Federalist Party. Russell later edited the Boston Gazette.
As we said, while the exact time frame varies, what we can be certain of is the era started no earlier than the end of the War of 1812. After several American victories that emboldened the American populace with a renewed sense of pride and patriotism, President Monroe paid little attention to dishing out party patronage. In 1820, he was reelected with all but one electoral vote. A myth surrounding this election that claims that one elector, William Plumer, willfully neglected to vote for Monroe, and instead voted for John Quincy Adams, to preserve George Washington's standing as the only unanimously elected president. The truth was that the elector simply disliked Monroe's policies.