1. James Monroe was not considered quite as clever as the presidents who had gone before him. But, he was a kind man. Everyone liked him, and the time during which he was President was called the “Era of Good Feeling.”
2. And men were so glad of this time of peace which had come after such long years of war. They forgot old quarrels and became friends again.
3. Unfortunately, the peace was broken by a war with the Seminole Indians in Florida. Florida still belonged to Spain, and it became a place for all sorts of adventurers. These adventurers robbed, and murdered, and created trouble among the Indians. Along the frontier between Georgia and Florida, there was no safety or peace for anyone.
4. So the President sent General Jackson to bring the Indians to order. Jackson marched into Florida, and in three months, he brought order. In fact, he “conquered” Florida.
5. But this was far more than Monroe had meant Jackson to do. And it seemed as if General Jackson was likely to be in trouble with the government. And the government might be in trouble with Spain. However, things were smoothed over. The matter with Spain was put right by the United States buying Florida in 1819. And Jackson was made Governor of this new territory!
6. Meanwhile, more states were being added to the Union.
7. After the Civil War was over, hundreds of families had found a new home in the unknown wilderness of the West. Indeed, so many people moved westward that the people in the East began to worry. For it seemed to them that soon the eastern states would be left empty. They asked their State Governments to stop the people going west. “Old America seems to be breaking up and moving westward,” said one man.
8. All sorts of stories of the dangers of the West were told. But, people still moved westward. They went in great covered wagons drawn by teams of horses, carrying with them all their household goods. Or, they rode on horseback, taking nothing with them but a few clothes. Some even walked the long hundreds of miles on foot.
9. The rivers were crowded with boats of all sorts. Many people went part of the way by the river, and the rest on foot. In the East, fields were left empty, and houses and churches fell to ruins. While in the West, towns and villages sprang up as if by magic, and the wilderness was turned to farms.