Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of November 11th - November 17th,  2011

The Long Depression

Columns Archive


Panic of 1873

The approaching
Long Depression of 1873

        Last week we started an examination of an aspect that is right around the corner, celestially speaking. Next June for the first time, transiting Uranus will square transiting Pluto. The core of this alignment suggests radical change forcefully administrated. Our financial institutions, whose stock and trade is the life blood of the nation, is about to come up for a serious review.

        My favorite way of looking at alignments like this is to pull together the common threads at work out of history. Since these are two outer planets, they move very slowly, thus impacting larger periods of time. We are first examining the wave of financial depressions that went on during each of these periods first, because they are the most obvious reoccurrences. Last week we examined the years 1820 and 1821, as Pluto squared Uranus at that time. This week we will look at the next in the series as these two formed a ninety degree aspect to each other in 1876 and 1877. Next week we will examine the last historical example of when this aspect occurred.

        American historians have termed this period the Long Depression. The Europeans have a different name for it. At the time it was known as the Great Depression, but that changed after 1929. It did not have the severe economic retrogression and spectacular breakdown" of the latter Great Depression, but it lasted longer. According to Wiki,

Samuel Tilden

Samuel J. Tilden

        "The National Bureau of Economic Research dates the contraction following the panic as lasting from October 1873 to March 1879. At 65 months, it is the longest-lasting contraction identified by the NBER, eclipsing the Great Depression's 43 months of contraction."

        1876 is the middle of that precise period. Cotton prices fell by nearly 50 percent in five years from 1872 to 1877, hammering the already financially war-devestated South. Recovery began in 1878. Railroad track mileage laid down increased from 2,665 mi (4,289 km) in 1878 to 11,568 in 1882.

        One thing about Pluto Uranus squares. It's all under the table, very hush-hush and all, but everybody knows about it. Crime and corruption run rampant, at least judging by the evidence.

        Stop me if you've already heard this one.

        The Grant administration was one of the most corrupt the nation had ever known. But the whole political system was rigged. In November of 1876, the presidential election gave Samuel J. Tilden, the (long-out-of-favor-party-after-the-war) Democratic candidate a popular vote of 250,000, but Republicans refused to concede on the grounds that returns from Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon were in dispute. Tilden needed 185 electoral votes, and he had secured 184. He only needed one more. The other 19 votes were still in question.
Rutherford Hayes

Rutherford Hayes

Congress agreed in January 1877 to establish an electoral commission to decide the issue, with eight Republicans and seven Democrats.

        All of the commission's decisions were to fall along party lines. All of the final 19 electoral votes were awarded to Hayes, and with it, the election. Republicans were later accused of offering southern Democrats economic favors for their region if they supported Hayes's claim to the office of the presidency.

        During his time in office, Federal troops were withdrawn and there was no further federal effort to protect the rights of newly freed blacks.

        Reconstruction was over.

        On the high side, Uranus rules the people, the entire spectrum of the human population. With Pluto squaring Uranus, universal rights are taking a hammering.

        In 1877, anti-Chinese riots break out in California, as the federal government, having preserved tje Union, turned its back on the black man.

        And everyone knew it.


The US Flag

Continue on the Freedom Trail
 Pluto in Capricorn
Peeking Through the Corporate Keyhole

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