What Was the Period of American History Called From 1820 1840?

The period of American history from 1820 to 1840 is commonly referred to as the “Era of Good Feelings.” This term was coined by a Boston newspaper in 1817, following President James Monroe’s tour of New England. The phrase was meant to describe the country’s newfound sense of unity and optimism following the War of 1812.

During this time, the United States experienced significant economic and territorial growth. The country’s population nearly doubled, largely due to westward expansion and immigration from Europe. This growth led to an increased demand for goods and services, which in turn fueled industrialization.

Economic Growth

The development of new transportation technologies such as steamboats and railroads made it easier for goods to be transported across long distances. This increased efficiency led to lower prices for consumers and higher profits for producers.

In addition, the country’s agricultural sector experienced significant growth during this time. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 had made cotton cultivation much more profitable, leading to a boom in cotton production in the Southern states. This, coupled with advancements in transportation technology, led to an increase in exports and helped establish the United States as a major player in the global economy.

Political Unity

The Era of Good Feelings was characterized by a sense of political unity among Americans. Following years of bitter partisan division, many people were happy to see a period of relative calm and cooperation.

This sentiment was reflected in Monroe’s reelection campaign in 1820. He ran unopposed, receiving all but one electoral vote. This marked the first time since George Washington that a presidential candidate had won without opposition from another major party.


Despite this sense of unity, however, there were still deep divisions within American society. One major source of tension was sectionalism – the idea that different regions of the country had different interests and priorities.

This was particularly true when it came to issues related to slavery. The Northern states were becoming increasingly opposed to the institution, while the Southern states saw it as essential to their economy and way of life.

These tensions would ultimately come to a head in the 1860s, leading to the outbreak of the Civil War.

The Missouri Compromise

One attempt to address the issue of sectionalism during this time was the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This legislation allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, but also prohibited slavery in any new states formed north of Missouri’s southern border.

While this compromise helped maintain political unity in the short term, it ultimately failed to address the underlying tensions between North and South.

  • In conclusion,
  • The Era of Good Feelings was a period of significant economic growth and political unity for the United States.
  • However, tensions related to sectionalism and slavery continued to simmer beneath the surface.
  • Despite its flaws, this period remains an important part of American history and is remembered for its sense of optimism and possibility.

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