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 Democrats assembled for their party convention in Charleston in April 1860, tensions over the issue of slavery had risen to fever pitch. After the party voted Stephen Douglas’s anti-slavery plank into the platform, just like clockwork, and as expected, fifty delegates from the Deep South walked out in protest. Douglas’ supporters could not round-up the two thirds majority needed for his nomination. Therefore, the convention adjourned on May 3rd and agreed to meet six weeks later in Baltimore, where they hoped to unite the party in an atmosphere more neutral and friendly. This proved to be a forlorn hope. The Democrats were too hopelessly divided to reconcile their differences.

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