Buildings considered to posses the federal architectural style mimic structures constructed in the Federal Period of North America (between 1780-1830). These styles are also similar to Biedermeier style in German speaking country, French Empire styles and Regency style in Britain.

In earlier American times the founding generation idolized the republican values of Rome as well as the democratic system of Greece. This also started reflecting in their architectural styles. The federal style simply reflects Georgian architecture in a symmetrical way, with plainer surfaces and more smooth and flat facades.

This classical American style was among the first of its professional architectural styles.