The classical revival was a phase of taste and creativity that greatly influenced the arts and architecture in the Unites States and in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century. An important building that was a result of the American classical revival is the Washington monument.

  Neoclassicism refers to distinct and unique movements in the arts (gallery or visual arts and decorative arts), theatre, music, literature and architecture. Neoclassicism came up in response against Rococo which was deemed shallow. Neoclassical architecture showcases Greek and Roman artististic styles. The main difference between these two styles was in the way they were expressed. The Ricoco embraced grace, asymmetry and ornamentation while neoclassicism emphasized on the principles of symmetry and simplicity. The word neoclassical is actually coined from the words new classic.

Artistically neoclassic paintings contain sharp colors with chiaroscuro and lack haziness and pastel colors.  During the late 18th century throughout to the 19th century, a style known as the gothic revival architecture contrasted neoclassicism in the sense that while neoclassicism placed great emphasis on symmetry, order and simplicity, gothic revival architecture emphasized on medieval-looking buildings made to appear romantic in a rusty way. Actually romanticism grew in response against neoclassicism.

An advantage of neoclassicism was its independence from modern construction technologies which meant it could be redone in traditional masonry.

In architecture, neoclassicism was similar to the classical revival in its sense of order and simplicity. To a degree it embraced the classic form of realism and clarity. A second similarity was that artistically it was fashioned in works borrowed from classical works which most of the time contained political themes connecting the works to political events. Neoclassical painters’ intention was to express patriotism and a sense of honorableness. The idea in neoclassicism was to create the tradition a fresh in each work.

In the 21st century neoclassicism has seen a comeback in the United States with some public buildings being built in the neoclassical style.