America’s Every 80-Year Turning Pattern Seen Since the Founding: We’re at That Moment Again

America’s Every 80-Year Turning Pattern Seen Since the Founding: We’re at That Moment Again

About every 80 years since its founding, the United States has gone through a tumultuous, redefining season.

The good news is following each of these trying times, America has emerged stronger and on firmer ground than it was before.

The Revolutionary War ended for all intents and purposes in 1781 with the U.S. victory at Yorktown over the British. The Constitution was adopted soon thereafter.

Eighty years later, in 1861, the Civil War began with the Confederates’ attack on Fort Sumter. When it was all over in 1865, slavery was ended, and all finally were free, as the Declaration of Independence had recognized was everyone’s God-given right.

And 80 years after that, in 1941, the U.S. entered World War II following the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. That war ended in 1945 with America the leader of the free world.

And here we are just over 80 years later.

In my book “We Hold These Truths,” I argue the three previous eras were among the most trying and defining ones in U.S. history.

We appear to be entering another significant moment now.

Domestically, for the first time in our nation’s existence, the party in power, the Democratic Party, is using the instruments of justice to try to put its leading rival in jail for the rest of his life. Former President Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner in this year’s presidential race, is facing dozens of felony charges in four separate criminal cases.

The Democrats also launched the largest criminal investigation in U.S. history to jail 2020 election protesters. In many cases, their only crime was being on the U.S. Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021.

President Joe Biden, while standing in front of an ominously red-lit Independence Hall in Philadelphia in September 2022, in effect labeled all of Trump’s supporters as enemies of the state.

“Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” he said.

“There is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country,” Biden added.

“MAGA Republicans do not respect the Constitution. They do not believe in the rule of law,” he said. In effect, he was making the argument they are treasonous and should be treated as insurrectionists.

This rhetoric is a far cry from Abraham Lincoln’s language, “We are not enemies, but friends,” which he employed to refer to those who did rebel against the Union.

Internationally, regions of the world are on fire with wars in the Middle East and Europe, while China appears poised to launch an invasion of Taiwan at any moment and North Korea continues to saber-rattle.

A common pattern of unrest can be seen in the decade prior to the three previous defining times in the U.S. that appears to be happening again now.

Revolutionary War 

History remembers Virginian Patrick Henry for his renowned “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in 1775.

But Henry first made his mark in 1765 as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses protesting the Stamp Act, which placed a tax on various items, including court documents and everyday things like newspapers and playing cards.

Henry introduced his Stamp Act Resolves, which noted that the first settlers in America brought with them all the rights of British citizens, as if they were “abiding and born” on British soil.

One of those rights was not to be taxed without representation in the legislative body imposing the levy.

Henry famously said in a speech defending his Resolves, “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Because of the strong opposition in the 13 American colonies, the British Parliament rescinded the Stamp Act tax, but it then turned around and imposed new ones, claiming it had the authority to pass laws that bind the colonies “in all cases whatsoever.”

Citizens of Massachusetts opposed the mother country’s efforts to impose a tax on tea with the Boston Tea Party in 1773, during which they threw the cargo of English ships carrying tea into Boston Harbor.

The British then cracked down, imposing martial law on Boston and occupying the city. The “shot heard around the world” followed in April 1775, when British Redcoats confronted colonial militiamen on Lexington Green outside of Boston. The Revolutionary War had begun.

Civil War 

In the lead-up to the Civil War, there was great unrest in America, and it centered on the future of slavery.

The Southern states wanted it legal everywhere, whereas Northern states had been busy banning it since the Revolutionary War.

All the states north of the Mason-Dixon line had passed legislation by the early 1800s ending slavery in their lands.

Further, the Continental Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance in 1787 forbidding the introduction of slavery in the territories that would become the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 continued this trend of banning slavery in lands north of the parallel at 36 degrees 30 minutes (the southern border of Missouri) but allowing it south of that dividing line.

The Missouri Compromise was repealed in 1854 with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, allowing states to choose whether they would enter the Union slave or free.

The Republican Party formed that same year in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Lincoln became its standard-bearer.

He made his mark in his famous debates against Democrat Sen. Stephen Douglas of Illinois, who had introduced and won passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

Lincoln lost in his bid to replace Douglas as senator but beat him in the election of 1860 for president. Most of the Southern states did not even include Lincoln on their ballot, which calls to mind what some states have tried to do against Trump this election cycle.

Rather than recognize Lincoln as president when he won, they seceded.

The Civil War had begun.

World War II 

Turning to World War II, the decade of the 1930s began with the Great Depression following a stock market crash in late 1929.

Regional conflicts followed with the Japanese on the move in Asia invading China, and Nazi Germany seizing neighboring countries later in the decade.

World War II officially began in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, and Great Britain and France declared war on the Nazis in response.

President Franklin Roosevelt pushed for the United States to aid the British with arms, and the U.S. ultimately entered the war after Germany’s ally Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.


The last decade or so in American history has been marked by domestic political turmoil, race riots and economic upheaval, while regional wars now rage around the world.

In 2016, the Democrats and their allies refused to accept Trump’s victory in the presidential race, and they’ve caused much domestic strife about it since.

While he was still a candidate, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia to win the office.

It continued almost two years into Trump’s presidency and turned out to be largely based on a fake dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

A few months after that fell through, they sought to impeach him for a quid pro quo with Ukraine that did not exist.

And when Democratic officials unilaterally changed election laws and procedures going into the 2020 election and Trump objected, they impeached him again for allegedly trying to overthrow democracy.

Now, they have indicted him for 91 different crimes in an attempt to keep him from potentially being elected president again this year.

If they succeed, where do Democrats think that will leave the country? More divided, perhaps, than at any time since the Civil War.

If history is a guide, the United States will emerge from all of this, by the grace of God, on more solid ground — but until then, the ride will likely be bumpy.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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