A House Divided: (52) – Election of 1860 – II

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


Content: When the surging Republicans assembled in the especially built Chicago convention building nicknamed the “wigwam” in May 1860 there were four viable candidates and a dark horse. The party faced a serious problem. Locked out of the south and probably the border states they had to win nearly every free state to achieve the necessary electoral majority.

A House Divided: (51) – Election of 1860 – I

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

​Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

​Content: The Election of 1860 was perhaps the most distinctive in U.S. political history. There were four parties and four candidates, but even more unusual, the two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, only were able to seriously compete in the free states. After an abortive attempt in at securing a Democratic candidate in Charleston, S.C., southern delegates walked out over the issue of a national code which would enforce protections for slavery in free states and territories.

Shabbatai Sevi – III: Lurianic Kabbalah

Lead: In the 1600s an explosive upsurge in messianic Judaism laid the groundwork for the claims of a pseudo-messiah, Shabbatai Sevi. His rise was part of a spiritual revival known as Lurianic Kabbalism.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Traditional Judaism, while anticipating the coming of the Messiah, has not placed great emphasis on messianism as a dominant part of religious life. This began to shift in the 16th century when profound spiritual changes emerged from the region around Safed, the northern-most prominent village in Palestinian Gallilee which is also the home of that part of mystical Judaism commonly referred to as the Kabbalah. By the 1630s a new form of mystical spiritualism, indeed a spiritual revival, known Lurianic Kabbalah, was rising to a powerful position in world-wide Jewish life.

A House Divided: (35) Mr. Brooks’ Cane – II

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In spring 1856 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Charles Sumner of Massachusetts spent two days flailing away at the what he considered the criminal behavior of pro-slavery partisans determined to render Kansas bloody until it came into the Union as a slave state. It was tasteless, terrible speech with inflammatory rhetoric designed to whip up anti-slavery sentiment.

A House Divided: (35) Mr. Brooks’ Cane – I

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: All during the winter and spring of 1856, the major topic of political discussion and anger in the United States was Kansas. Two years before, the Kansas Nebraska Act had enshrined the concept of majority choice as to whether a state would come into the Union as slave or free. In Washington there was gridlock. Free soil Republicans controlled the U.S. House and pro-slavery Democrats, the U.S. Senate. Neither side would yield and allow the other to admit Kansas as either slave or free. Therefore, partisans on both sides of the slave issue flooded on to the distant prairie to force a reality that could not be worked out politically in Washington. Kansas became “Bloody Kansas.” Both sides committed atrocities, but the pro-slavery forces seemed particularly vicious and played into the hands of the free state propagandists who were determined to have Kansas be free.

Shabbetai Zevi – Jewish Messiah – I

Lead: In 1665 Shabbetai Zevi, (‘shabatite say ve), a Jewish rabbi from Smyrna on the western coast of present-day Turkey, claimed to be the long anticipated messiah. The explosive devotion he inspired was made possible because the way had been prepared.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.


Content: Of the three great religions which look back to Abraham as founder, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, two have powerful messianic traditions. The Messiah is that person whose arrival will restore harmony to the universe lost at the time of the Fall and affect reconciliation between God and man. Christians believe that Jesus was the promised messiah and that his death and resurrection and imminent return will signify the end of human history.

A House Divided: (34) Birth of the Republican Party – II

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Republican Party was born out of serious discontent with then contemporary party system in the United States and a growing revulsion in the North about the spread indeed, the practice, of chattel slavery.

A House Divided: (33) Birth of the Republican Party – I

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Because in part of constitutional requirements for the election of the President, successful large American political parties have to be coalitions, sometimes fractious coalitions, of interest and ideology (for fuller discussion, see 17-016). Take, for instance, the Republicans. The modern Republican Party is a coalition of among other groups: southern whites (many formerly Democrats) skeptical of the progress of African American civil rights, older conservative evangelical Christians and Catholics disturbed by social and moral changes in modern American life, small government tax-averse libertarians, national defense hawks, and small and large business owners, financiers and managers. That is pretty complex, but no less complex than the original Republican coalition.