The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833

By Carol Sue Humphrey | Go to book overview

7
The Era of Good Feelings, 1815-1824

The inauguration of James Monroe on March 4, 1817, appeared to herald the beginning of a new era, one without the rabid partisanship that had dominated the political scene since the mid-1790s. For all intents and purposes, Monroe ran for president basically unopposed in 1816. 1 Although the Federalists nominated Rufus King, he did not have enough national recognition to launch a successful campaign. When the electoral college voted, Monroe won by the sizeable margin of 183 to 34. The circumstances of the inaugural ceremony itself, however, indicated that all was not as peaceful and happy as many people hoped. Still in the midst of reconstruction following the destruction of the War of 1812, the House and the Senate could not reach an agreement on holding the inauguration as usual in the House chambers. At the last minute, they agreed on an outdoor ceremony. The inauguration went well, but many blamed the conflict over the site on Henry Clay, Speaker of the House. Clay, apparently resentful over not being appointed secretary of state by the new president, seemed to confirm these rumors when he failed to attend the inaugural ceremony. 2 Such animosities and arguments did not bode well for the future.

For, a while, at least, all went well, and many believed that the nation had truly entered into "an era of good feelings."' With the Federalist Party basically no longer in existence, people asserted that partisanship would now disappear and that the country could concentrate on the more important issues of growth and development. The newspapers expressed these hopes and beliefs as they continued to inform their readers about the various news and events of Washington and elsewhere. The War of 1812 had slowed the spread of the press somewhat, but peace allowed it once more to grow throughout the country. In 1815, the first year after the end of the war, 413 newspapers appeared in the United States. By 1820, the year of Monroe's reelection, the number had grown to 512. And in 1828, when

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The Press of the Young Republic, 1783-1833
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also Available in the History of American Journalism ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - A New Era Begins: The Confederation, 1783-1789 1
  • Notes 18
  • 2 - The Adoption of the Bill of Rights, 1789-1791 27
  • Notes 36
  • 3 - The First Political Party System, 1791-1800 41
  • 4 - The Challenge of the Sedition Act, 1798-1800 57
  • Notes 68
  • 5 - The Age of Jefferson, 1800-1808 71
  • Notes 81
  • 6 - The War of 1812 1809-1815 85
  • Notes 95
  • 7 - The Era of Good Feelings, 1815-1824 99
  • 8 - The Age of Jackson, 1824-1833 113
  • Notes 129
  • 9 - Changes in Journalism, 1800-1833 133
  • Notes 150
  • 10 - Reflections on the Press of the Young Republic 155
  • Note 160
  • Bibliographical Essay 161
  • Sources 167
  • Index 177
  • About the Author 183
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