James Monroe easily won his party's nomination to run for president in 1816, and he just as easily won the election. His Democratic-Republican Party, which later became simply the Democratic Party, was very strong at the time. The economy was good, the rival Federalist Party was weak and unpopular, and Monroe himself was likable and popular. He was the last of the Founding Fathers to serve as president. Monroe's presidency followed some 25 years of rivalry between Democratic-Republicans and Federalists, but when he was elected with 183 electoral votes to the Federalists' 34, it signaled the end of the Federalist Party.
To celebrate his election victory, Monroe launched a 15-week tour through the New England states, the first presidential tour since George Washington's. Later tours to the South and West put him in touch with more Americans than any previous president. The Boston Columbian Centinel newspaper called his reception in Massachusetts the start of an "era of good feelings." In what speech does Monroe refer to this period of good times for the country?