Cyclic rhythmites (tidal rhythmites) provide fine-scale resolution of deposition within specific types of tidal systems. Rhythmites of this kind have been reported from many sites throughout geologic time; nonetheless, they are particularly widespread and common within the Carboniferous basins of the eastern and mid-continental United States. These rhythmites have great potential for providing information regarding the local, regional, and global controls on their deposition. Widespread occurrence of cyclic rhythmites within these basins outlines a hierarchy of parameters that controlled deposition. These controls include: (1) local and regional depositional setting, (2) elevated paleotidal ranges, (3) sequence stratigraphic and basinal conditions, (4) a unique paleoceanographic configuration, and (5) specific conditions of astrophysical alignments.