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.

A House Divided: (35) – Origin of Taps

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: Despite appalling losses on both sides, Robert E. Lee’s rebel forces had hammered and ultimately thwarted the timid George C. McClellan’s grand attempt to take Richmond, the Confederate capital, in spring 1862. During the Seven Day’s Battles in June, the Union Army had been forced to retreat southeast to Harrison’s Landing. Many of the units in the Army of the Potomac bivouacked on Berkeley Plantation, the mansion of which was built in 1726. Berkeley is situated on a bluff above the James River and is the traditional home of the Harrison family which sired two Presidents of the United States.

A House Divided: (32) Collapse of the Whig Party – III

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: By the end of the 1830s no significant subject in American political life could be discussed without reference to the enormous social, economic and moral issue of slavery. Americans were losing control of their ability to have a rational conversation. No national discussion was possible without dragging in the way in which it would affect the progress, expansion, restriction, or destruction of slavery. Whether it was tariffs, internal improvements, foreign affairs, economics, public education western expansion, the Transcontinental Railroad, the War in Mexico, all were affected by this question. Most American’s opinion on one issue was shaded by their opinion on The Issue.  

A House Divided: (31) Collapse of the Whig 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 term “whig” comes out of English political history and is derived from the Scottish word “whiggamor” or cattle driver. It was a term of abuse and derision directed against Scottish Covenanter Presbyterian opponents of King Charles I. It came into wide use in the “Exclusion Crisis” of the 1680s and was applied to those who wished to exclude from the English throne, James, Duke of York, the brother of King Charles II, because James was a Roman Catholic.