The “Era of Good Feeling” that followed 1815, however, was of short duration. The issue of slavery could not be banished, as the crisis that erupted in 1819 over admitting Missouri as a slave state showed. Even Jefferson, the “Sage of Monticello,” began to have doubts about the future, fearing that the “Empire of Liberty” that he and the other “Founding Fathers” had created might not survive “the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons.”
Study of the American founding fathers has become a hothouse industry. The capacity of the American reading public to absorb volume after volume on Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton, Franklin, Madison, and others, has no limits in sight.