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Polarization and Presidential Elections that Divided America

October 5 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Contemporary American politics and public debates have become highly polarized, raising concerns about how a democratic political culture can be sustained amid such partisan anger. This is not the first era of extreme partisan division, however, and this seminar examines previous political conflicts that can help us understand how current polarizations resemble or differ from the divisiveness of past elections. How did Americans respond to emotionally charged political campaigns in the pivotal elections of 1800 (Jefferson vs. Adams), 1860 (Lincoln vs. Breckinridge), and 1968 (Nixon vs. Humphrey)? How did these elections divide the country, reshape American politics, and weaken or strengthen democratic institutions? Exploring such questions with the broader vision of historical hindsight, three well-informed speakers will provide new perspectives on the enduring patterns of conflict in American political life.


Monday, October 5 at 5:30 pm

The Early American Republic and the Political War of 1800
Lloyd Kramer, Professor of History and Director, Carolina Public Humanities

Tuesday, October 6 at 5:30 pm

Prelude to Disaster: The Election of 1860
Freddie Kiger, Public Historian and Teacher

Wednesday, October 7 at 5:30 pm

The Culture Wars and Politics in the Election of 1968
Suzanne Globetti, Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science

Thursday, October 8 at 5:30 pm

Do Current Polarizations Differ from America’s Past Political Divisions?
A panel discussion with our speakers


This webinar is a virtual event. Tuition is $40, which includes “admission” to the webinar in real time (with live Q&A) as well as access to the closed-caption recorded talks to watch at your leisure for up to 2 weeks after the event. Registrants will receive instructions for accessing the event online the morning of October 5.

**Save money by purchasing a season pass to all 5 fall webinars for only $150 ($125 for GAA members).**


Register here or call us at 919.962.1544.

Online registration closes at midnight the night before the event. For same-day registration, please call our office at 919.962.1544.


Co-Sponsored by the General Alumni Association.

For information about GAA discounts and other scholarships available to Humanities Program participants, click here.

Tuition is complimentary for any currently teaching, full time K-12 teachers. If you’re eligible, click here to register. Complimentary teacher registration closes one hour before the start of the event.


October 5
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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