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 Era of Good Feelings

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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