Awakening. During an Awakening, rising adults are driven by inner zeal to become philosophers, religious pundits, and hippies, alienating children (who see the adult world becoming more chaotic each day) and older generations alike. Civil order comes under attack from a new values regime. Examples of Awakening eras include the Protestant Reformation (1517-1542), the Puritan Awakening (1621-1649), the Great Awakening (1727-1746), the Second Great Awakening (1822-1844), the Third Great Awakening (1886-1908), and the Consciousness Revolution (1964-1984). Seen as a tumultuous time, somewhat echoing a "Crisis".
Unraveling. An Unraveling is an era of relative peace and prosperity between an Awakening and a Crisis. The most recent Unraveling was seen between The Consciousness Revolution and the time just before September 11th (1985-2001?), a time of paradigm shifting. Seen as a positive time, somewhat echoing a "High".
Crisis. A Crisis is a decisive era of secular upheaval. The values regime propels the replacement of the old civic order with a new one. Wars are waged with apocalyptic finality. Examples of Crisis eras include the Wars of the Roses (1459-1487), the Spanish Armada Crisis (1569-1594), the colonial Glorious Revolution (1675-1704), the American Revolution (1773-1794), the American Civil War (1860-1865), and the twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II (1932-1945), and now possibly the present time from September 11th, 2001.
High. A High is an era between a Crisis and an Awakening. The most recent High was seen between World War II and the Consciousness Revolution.
Prophet/Idealist. A Prophet (or Idealist) generation is born during a High, spends its rising adult years during an Awakening, spends midlife during an Unraveling, and spends old age in a Crisis. Prophetic leaders have been cerebral and principled, summoners of human sacrifice, wagers of righteous wars. Early in life, few saw combat in uniform; late in life, most come to be revered as much for their words as for their deeds.
Nomad/Reactive. A Nomad (or Reactive) generation is born during an Awakening, spends its rising adult years during an Unraveling, spends midlife during a Crisis, and spends old age in a new High. Nomadic leaders have been cunning, hard-to-fool realists, taciturn warriors who prefer to meet problems and adversaries one-on-one.
Hero/Civic. A Hero (or Civic) generation is born during an Unraveling, spends its rising adult years during a Crisis, spends midlife during a High, and spends old age in an Awakening. Heroic leaders are considered to have been vigorous and rational institution-builders, busy and competent in old age. All of them entering midlife were aggressive advocates of technological progress, economic prosperity, social harmony, and public optimism.
Artist/Adaptive. An Artist (or Adaptive) generation is born during a Crisis, spends its rising adult years in a new High, spends midlife in an Awakening, and spends old age in an Unraveling. Artistic leaders have been advocates of fairness and the politics of inclusion, irrepressible in the wake of failure.
|Late Medieval Saeculum|
|Arthurian Generation||Hero (Civic)||1433–1460|
|Humanist Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1461–1482|
|Reformation Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1483–1511|
|Reprisal Generation||Nomad (Reactive)||1512–1540|
|Elizabethan Generation||Hero (Civic)||1541–1565|
|Parliamentarian Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1566–1587|
|New World Saeculum|
|Puritan Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1588–1617|
|Cavalier Generation||Nomad (Reactive)||1618–1647|
|Glorious Generation||Hero (Civic)||1648–1673|
|Enlightenment Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1674–1700|
|Awakening Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1701–1723|
|Liberty Generation||Nomad (Reactive)||1724–1741||First Great Awakening|
|Republican Generation||Hero (Civic)||1742–1766|
|Compromise Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1767–1791|
|Civil War Saeculum|
|Transcendental Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1792–1821|
|Gilded Generation||Nomad (Reactive)||1822–1842||Second Great Awakening|
|Progressive Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1843–1859|
|Great Power Saeculum|
|Missionary Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1860–1882|
|Lost Generation||Nomad (Reactive)||1883–1900||Third Great Awakening|
|G.I. Generation||Hero (Civic)||1901–1924|
|Silent Generation||Artist (Adaptive)||1925–1942|
|(Baby) Boom Generation||Prophet (Idealist)||1943–1960|
|13th Generation (a.k.a Generation X)1||Nomad (Reactive)||1961–1981|| The generation receives its name because it's the 13th to know the flag of the United States (counting back to the peers of Benjamin Franklin). Strauss and Howe defined the birth years of the 13th Generation as 1961 to 1981 based on examining peaks and troughs in cultural trends rather than simply looking at birth rates. Howe and Strauss speak of six influences that they believe have shaped Generation 13. These influences are as follows: |
|Millenial Generation2||Hero (Civic)||1982–2001||They first arrived when “Babies on Board” signs appeared. Many in this cohort grew along the rapid growth of technology and economic and social globalization. Also known as "Generation Y".|
|New Silent Generation (a.k.a the Homeland Generation) 3||Artist (Adaptive)||2001–||This generation is attributed with many of the Disney manifestations of the 21st century, coequally being called the Neo-Disney Generation.|
Note (1): Strauss and Howe use the name "13th Generation" instead of the more widely accepted "Generation X" in their book, which was published mere weeks before Douglas Coupland's Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture was. The generation is so numbered because it is the thirteenth generation alive since American Independence (counting back until Benjamin Franklin's). Some demographers have also referred to this group as the Baby Bust generation, a term that like Generation X has some definitional confusion.
Note (2): Although there is as yet no universally accepted name for this generation, "Millennials" is becoming widely accepted. Other names used in reference to it include Generation Y (as it is the generation following Generation X) and "The Net Generation."
Note (3): New Silent Generation was a proposed holding name used by Neil Howe and William Strauss in their demographic history of America, Generations, to describe the generation whose birth years began somewhere in the early 2000s and the ending point will be around the early 2020s. Howe and Strauss now refer to this generation (most likely currently being born) as the Homeland Generation.
Question marks in the table above indicate that the consensus generational boundary has not been defined yet in their theory, but generations are on average about 22 years in length, so approximations can be listed.
According to the above chart, generational types have appeared in Anglo-American history in a fixed order for more than 500 years, with one hiccup in the Civil War Saeculum. (The reasons for this is because according to the chart, the Civil War came about ten years too early; the adult generations allowed the worst aspects of their generational personalities to come through; and the Progressives grew up scarred rather than ennobled.)