Lead: In the spring of 1860 the Democratic National Convention met in Charleston. It failed to achieve unity, compromise, or peace.

Intro.: "A Moment In Time" with Dan Roberts.

Content: A case can be made that the Charleston convention was a picture of the Republic itself. The politics of the United States were becoming rigid. Compromise, the lubricant that keeps the engine of democracy in motion, was becoming almost impossible to achieve. As if sand had been thrown into its works the machinery of American civilization was being ground to a halt by slavery.

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