Watershed Elections — Two

Elections, as do many other things, follow a twenty year cycle.  We are now in the closing period of the current twenty year cycle that started with the beginning of the new century, and what happens in the United States, and the world, over the next four years will set the stage for the massive changes that are coming in the next twenty year period.

This twenty year cycle corresponds to the synodic cycle of Jupiter and Saturn, from conjunction to opposition and back to conjunction.  The conjunctions correspond to the beginning of an even decade, such as 1960, 1980, 2000.

Below is a continuation of a discussion of the Watershed Elections in the period between the Civil War and World War Two.  As has been discussed earlier, this 84 year period is similar to the period for humans between the first Saturn Return and the second.




The election of 1880 was not much of a change from other post-Civil War elections: the Republican candidate won.  But the winner, James Garfield, was shot four months after he took office, another example of Tecumseh’s Curse, and his Vice President, Chester A. Arthur, took office as the President.

Arthur is what I call a cliché Libra — his life seemed to be about living up to the stereotype of a Libra sunsign.  He was called “Gentleman Boss” and would drive around Washington is a carriage with his coat of arms on it; he dressed well and liked fine furnishings for the White House.  He even died of a kidney disorder, Libra ruling kidneys.  He had been a fixer in the New York Port, having been placed there by New York’s Senator Roscoe Conkling, and had derived much profit from running the port, the busiest entry point to the United States.  Arthur had represented a different faction of the Republican Party than Garfield, which is why he was put on the ticket for balance.  He surprised many by having a decent term, which saw the passage of civil service reform, something that had been long desired.

Arthur had been born in Northern Vermont, and there was much controversy during the election whether he had actually been born in Canada, and thus could not run for Vice President.  This was the first example of questioning the nativity of a candidate.  It is not recorded if he showed his birth certificate.

But what was happening in the United States at this time was much more interesting, and shows a country changing from a nation with a strong South dependent on slave labor to a country on the verge of the modern world as we currently know it.

1876 saw the Centennial of the United States birth, and there was a big exposition highlighting the wonders of modern industry and machines.  That was the year that Custer had his last stand, which dampened a bit the celebration of America’s birth. Reconstruction, the attempt to fix the problems in the South after the Civil War, was ended with the election that year with not nearly enough accomplished, but at least Northern whites could forget about the War and go on with the business of making money.

1877 saw the Great Uprising, a massive strike with violence that set the stage for the labor revolts of the next decades.  The year 1877 was the opening square of Uranus and Pluto, much like the opening square of those same two planets seen in the last few years.

By 1880 the Civil war was as distant as 9/11 is to us now.  The telephone had been developed by Alexander Graham Bell a few years earlier, and two separate people had a preliminary incandescent light bulb in 1880.  Nobel prize winning physician Robert Koch had discovered the cause of anthrax and insulin was discovered in 1876, which would change the lives of diabetic Americans.  The phonograph was invented in 1877, AC current in 1880, and the dry photographic plate was developed in 1879 by George Eastman, and in 1880 he developed roll film.  The two cycle engine was developed in 1877, and by that year Standard Oil controlled 95% of oil refining.

In 1876 there was a massacre of the Sioux Indians, and in 1877 Chief Joseph was defeated, and the Americans more and more took over the continent from the peoples who had lived there before they had arrived centuries earlier.  The last attempt to restrict the American Indians was coming to a close, and in fact the Census Bureau would in 1890 declare that the frontier was closed.  A historian at the University of Wisconsin would a few years later write a ground-breaking paper — later a book — explaining how the frontier had shaped democracy of America.




The election of 1900 saw the second term for William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States.  Like all other Republicans elected after the Civil War, he had served in the Union Army, and all but one of the Presidents after the Civil War were Republicans.  The one Democrat, Grover Cleveland, served two terms, and he is now only known as a subject for Presidential trivia.  He was the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms, the Republican president between his two terms was Benjamin Harrison, the grandson of the President elected in 1840 and discussed previously.  His other claim to fame was a candy bar named after his baby daughter, born after he married a much younger women — the youngest First Lady ever — in his first term, with a wedding at the White House.  His baby’s name was Ruth.

But McKinley selected for his Vice President on his second term an up and coming Republican from New York who had not served in the Civil War by the name of Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley’s adviser Mark Hanna had warned against putting someone as radical as Roosevelt on the ticket; perhaps he was aware of Tecumseh’s Curse.  In any case, McKinley was shot six months into his second term, on September 6, 1901, and Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States just as the Twentieth Century was beginning.

The first two decades of the Twentieth Century in America was the Progressive Era, and all of the Presidents that served in that period, both Republican and Democrat, were considered Progressive.  As mentioned before, the first 15 years of the Twentieth Century was the Birth of Modernism, and there were many important transits.   Also during this period, there was a Uranus transit over the Ascendant of the United States, just a there had been in 1820.  This combination of ingredients resulted in the period of the Twentieth Century before the First World War was a completely different United States.




The election of 1920 saw a very different America again.  The First World War was over, an influenza pandemic had killed millions around the world, and the Russian Revolution and an ongoing Civil War in Russia caused Americans to cower in fear at radicals attempting to overthrow their government; this is called the First Red Scare in the United States.

The winner of the 1920 elections was Warren Gamaliel Harding, a Scorpio, the first of three Republican Presidents to serve, as the saying goes, under Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, the third richest person in the country.  After the war people just wanted to unwind and have fun, and the government in its infinite wisdom passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited the sale, but not the use, of beverages containing alcohol.  One should have seen at the time the disaster that would result.

Harding is famous for having sex in closets of the White House, and had a child by one of his mistresses, as has recently been confirmed by DNA tests.  Harding is often considered one of the worst presidents, because of scandals surrounding his time in the office, but unlike more recent examples, he did not wage illegal wars of aggression on other countries, torture people, or drop drones on wedding parties.  Harding died mysteriously on a tour of the West Coast, thus again fulfilling Tecumseh’s Curse.

Besides the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn being important, the opposition aspect is also important for a culmination of things started at the conjunction, and the preparation for the next conjunction in ten years.  Such was the case of the start of what is called the Great Depression half way through the twenty year cycle that started in 1920.  The love of money and of the stock market are the highlights of what is called the “Roaring Twenties” which came crashing down with the stock market falls of late October 1929.




The election of 1940 saw the unprecedented third term of Franklin Roosevelt (Aquarius), cousin of Theodore, and the removal of as many of the effects of the Depression as was possible before the entrance of the United States into the already happening World War Two.  By the end of the War the United States, which was almost completely untouched by the immense ravages of the War, became the dominant power, known as a Super-Power, in the World for the next 60 years.  The promise started with the Spanish America War finally came to full fruition.  This election resulted in a major change for the United States and the world, a change that is still affecting us.

Franklin Roosevelt was elected to four terms, including one that corresponded to the strictures of Tecumseh’s Curse, the one which is a Watershed Election.  He died of a cerebral hemorrhage shortly into his fourth term, just before World War II ended in Germany, and a few months before the War ended in the Pacific.

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