By stating that history appears to go in cycles, it means that thereare specific trends and events that appear to recur. This isperfectly illustrated by the changes that happen from the Gilded Ageto the First World War.
During the Gilded Age, America was characterized by growth with theemergence of industries, movement of people to urban centers andmassive developments. Many people were able to secure employment.However, due to the massive creation of industries, Americans wereproducing more than they could consume.
Everyone wanted to be rich, which resulted in an oversupply ofskills, industries, goods and services and America slowly moved intothe Depression. The Depression brought in lessons and the governmenttook actions to regulate the oversupply leading to Reform. However,as America became more progressed the World War happened. The evidentcycle is that of growth, which is followed by a decline and viceversa.
History cycles can be explained using several arguments. One argumentis that problems change. When a country is accustomed to using aparticular course of action in solving problems, at first it iseffective. But when new problems emerge, the same course becomesinapplicable. For instance, increased production and industrialgrowth sustained the Gilded Age, but the same approaches resulted inthe Depression.
Another reason is that when people experience a decline, they aremore willing to consolidate and work towards solving their problems.This leads to reforms and normalcy is restored. However, it becomesimpossible to avoid undercurrents of dissatisfaction, which lead toresurgences of conflict.
This means that while people may be satisfied with the way things arefor a certain period, for instance how society is organized, they maysoon become tired of expecting changes especially when there iswidespread inequality. Hence, society may shift from beingprogressive to warring. Once people learn from the warring periodnormalcy resumes for some time until new issues come up and the cyclerecurs.