Think of this as Volume 18, Number 13 of the newsletter I have written weekly since March, 1997. Enjoy.
In the case of America, which has been a united nation for most of 225 years now, it can rhyme multiple times.
The Crisis of 1896, which resulted in the Progressive Era, rhymed in many ways with the first political crisis in our history, the dispute between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson resulting in the 1800 Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican victory over Hamilton's Federalists.
The dispute in both cases was one of basic finance. Hamilton wanted a strong central government, and a national bank, in order to grow manufacturing and assure that the new United States could defend itself. Jefferson sought a “republican” government, a full democracy in which all men could be treated equally because they were equal.
Reading Jefferson's own words from the 1790s, it's clear that what he objected to in Hamilton was less the means to his end than the end itself. That end was prosperity. Hamilton wanted America to become rich, and worked to create institutions aimed at doing that. Jefferson cared less about money than about rights. He believed money corrupted, that it was responsible for the injustices he'd seen in France.
Jefferson feared Hamilton was aping Great Britain, whose great banks had created a rich empire, mostly benefitting its great men. In this he was right.