Strauss and Howe generational timing

Tags: ,

The authors argue that the basic length of both generations and turnings—about twenty years—derives from longstanding socially and biologically determined phases of life.[who?] This is the reason it has remained relatively constant over centuries.[80] Some have argued that rapid increases in technology in recent decades are shortening the length of a generation.[81] According to Strauss and Howe, however, this is not the case. As long as the transition to adulthood occurs around age 20, the transition to midlife around age 40, and the transition to old age around age 60, they say the basic length of both generations and turnings will remain the same.[80]

In their book, The Fourth Turning, however, Strauss and Howe say that the precise boundaries of generations and turnings are erratic. The generational rhythm is not like certain simple, inorganic cycles in physics or astronomy, where time and periodicity can be predicted to the second. Instead, it resembles the complex, organic cycles of biology, where basic intervals endure but precise timing is difficult to predict. Strauss and Howe compare the saecular rhythm to the four seasons, which they say similarly occur in the same order, but with slightly varying timing. Just as winter may come sooner or later, and be more or less severe in any given year, the same is true of a Fourth Turning in any given saeculum.[82]

Generation Archetype Generation Birth Year Span Entered childhood in a Turning Year Span
Late Medieval Saeculum
Arthurian Generation Hero (Civic) 1433–1460 (28) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Retreat from France 1435–1459 (24)[a]
Humanist Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1461–1482 (22) 4th Turning: Crisis: War of the Roses 1459–1497 (38)
Reformation Saeculum (97 years)
Reformation Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1483–1511 (28) 1st Turning: High: Tudor Renaissance 1497–1517 (20)
Reprisal Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1512–1540 (29) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Protestant Reformation 1517–1542 (25)
Elizabethan Generation Hero (Civic) 1541–1565 (24) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Reaction & Marian Restoration 1542–1569 (27)
Parliamentary Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1566–1587 (22) 4th Turning: Crisis: Armada Crisis 1569–1594 (25)
New World Saeculum (110 years)
Puritan Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1588–1617 (30) 1st Turning: High: Merrie England 1594–1621 (27)
Cavalier Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1618–1647 (30) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Puritan Awakening 1621–1649 (26)
Glorious Generation Hero (Civic) 1648–1673 (26) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Restoration 1649–1675 (26)
Enlightenment Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1674–1700 (27) 4th Turning: Crisis: Glorious Revolution 1675–1704 (29)
Revolutionary Saeculum (90 years)
Awakening Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1701–1723 (23) 1st Turning: High: Augustan Age of Empire 1704–1727 (23)
Liberty Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1724–1741 (18) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Great Awakening 1727–1746 (19)
Republican Generation Hero (Civic) 1742–1766 (25) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War) 1746–1773 (27)
Compromise Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1767–1791 (23) 4th Turning: Crisis: Age of Revolution 1773–1794 (21)
Civil War Saeculum (71 years)
Transcendental Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1792–1821 (28) 1st Turning: High: Era of Good Feelings 1794–1822 (28)
Gilded Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1822–1842 (21) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Transcendental Awakening 1822–1844 (22)
Hero (Civic)[b] 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Mexican–American War, Sectionalism 1844–1860 (16)
Progressive Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1843–1859 (17) 4th Turning: Crisis: Civil War 1860–1865 (5)
Great Power Saeculum (81 years)
Missionary Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1860–1882 (23) 1st Turning: High: Reconstruction, Gilded Age 1865–1886 (21)
Lost Generation Nomad (Reactive) 1883–1900 (18) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Missionary Awakening/Progressive Era 1886–1908 (22)
G.I. Generation Hero (Civic) 1901–1924 (24) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: World War I, Roaring Twenties, Prohibition 1908–1929 (21)
Silent Generation Artist (Adaptive) 1925–1942 (18) 4th Turning: Crisis: Great Depression, World War II 1929–1946 (17)
Millennial Saeculum (75 + years)
Baby Boom Generation Prophet (Idealist) 1943–1960 (18)[83] 1st Turning: High: American High 1946–1964 (18)
13th Generation[c] Nomad (Reactive) 1961–1981 (21) 2nd Turning: Awakening: Consciousness Revolution, Fourth Great Awakening 1964–1984 (20)
Millennial Generation[d] Hero (Civic) 1982–2004 (23) 3rd Turning: Unraveling: Neoliberalism/Culture Wars, Tech Bubble, 9/11 1984–2007 (23)
Homeland Generation[e] Artist (Adaptive) 2005–present (16*) 4th Turning: Crisis: War on Terror,[f] Great Recession, COVID-19 pandemic/recession[84], Climate crisis 2008–present (13*)