Opposition to war brought the Federalists the support of Clinton and many others, and the party made a good showing in the election of 1812, winning New England (except for radical Vermont), New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and part of Maryland. They failed, however, in Pennsylvania and lost the election. While the country was at war, the disgruntled merchants of New England, represented by the Essex Junto, contemplated secession and called the Hartford Convention. Thus, paradoxically the Federalists became the champions of states' rights.
The successful issue of the war ruined the party, which became firmly and solely the party of New England conservatives. The so-called era of good feelings followed, and politics became a matter of internal strife within the Democratic party. The Federalist party did not even offer a presidential candidate in 1820, and by the election of 1824 it was virtually dead.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.