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.