The Fourth Turning — In a Nutshell


Based on the book “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss & Howe

And speeches by Dr. Oliver DeMille

by Jacqueline Smith


Every 80 to 120 years (a saeculum) society goes through 4 phases.  Just like the weather. 

1)     We have a Spring, or founding period. 

2)     We have a Summer, or awakening period. 

3)     We have a Fall, or unraveling period.

There is always a catalyst to push you from a 3rd turning to a 4th.

4)     We have a Winter, or crisis period.

Now, you don’t have to take my word for it.  Just go back through history, say 300 generations, or the last 3,000 years and see for yourself.  It has not missed.  However, for the first time in history most of the world is on the same part of the cycle at the same time.

To give you a quick look at the cycle through the eyes of American history, let’s go through this saeculum four (4) times.


The Age of Kings.  The European Empire was expanding.



The Great Awakening.  Spritual rivival occurred and man began to disbelieve in the divine right of Kings.



French and Indian War, and English and French War, continued breakdown of society.



Boston Tea Party / Boston Masacre



U.S. Revolutionary War, Constitutional Convention






New Government formed based on self-rule.  Federalism



Transendental Awakening.  New churches formed, faith questioned.  Joseph Smith restores LDS church.



Dred Scott case occurs.  North & South friction continues



Election of Abraham Lincoln



Civil War.  One of the shortest cycles






Nationalism begins (not a great founding) Reconstruction



Progressivism begins.  Dewey & Marx read



WWI – The roaring 20’s, morality slides



Stock Market Crash in Oct 1929



Depression, bread lines.  WWII brings us out.






Global reconstruction (again, not a great founding)  GATT, NATO, U.N. Bretton Woods Meetings, IMF



From Hippies to Yuppies  We go from Leave it to Beaver, all the way to Friends on TV.



Post modernist thinking emerges.  Allegiance is to ME.  Curcumstantial Morality & Situational Ethics.






Economic Crisis —- and then????


You will notice that most of the time in history these turnings last about 20 to 25 years.  So now you can see it, but what do you do?  It is easy to see that we are in it, the Winter of our Discontent, so to speak.  Do you know what to do in a Fourth Turning?  Do you know how to change your thinking and your life to be a positive catalyst for the change you want to see?  For 14 Points to Survive in a Fourth Turning click here.


 The 4th Turning has many aspects to it as well, but we’ll save that for a future post.  Suffice it to say, the 4th turning is when the greatest changes can happen.  But you must be educated in what freedom looks like.  You must have the tools (books) and know how to use them to create freedom around you. 


It will take courage.  It will take determination.  It will probably take a miracle or two.  Nevertheless, as in times past, Providence has been on the side of freedom.


For the next post on this subject click here and take a closer look at just the Winter or Crisis in this turning.  Ask questions and comment on this post.  We are all in this together.  FREEDOM CAN WIN!

20 thoughts on “The Fourth Turning — In a Nutshell

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