Era of Good Feelings

Last Updated: Apr. 3, 2008

The Era of Good Feelings (First Turning, 1794–1822) witnessed what Joel Barlow called The Conquest of Canaan an era of epical social harmony and empire building. Vast new territories were mapped and settled. Canals, steamboats, and turnpikes pushed back the wilderness. Even a blundering war (of 1812) ended up unifying the nation. Civil disorder was rare—as was spiritual curiosity in an era (wrote Emerson) “able to produce not a book…or a thought worth noticing.”

  • Liberty entering elderhood
  • Republicans entering midlife
  • Compromisers entering young adulthood
  • Transcendentals entering childhood

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