Brigham Young University professor Brett Latimer gave four lectures during Education Week in a presentation titled "America's 'Culture Wars': A Tale of Two Americas."
He said the United States has been "a house divided" several times during its 227-year history. A look at the major moments of political realignment in American society:
Revolution of 1800 — Thomas Jefferson wrested the presidency from incumbent John Adams, who held the conservative position that the nation should maintain more British traditions.
The Civil War — Abraham Lincoln's abolitionist views carried the day over three rivals. The nation followed Lincoln and his Republican party, which dominated American politics until the New Deal.
The New Deal — Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover and instituted new social programs in the wake of the Depression. The outcome was 20 years of Democratic presidencies.
Traditional vs. Modern — Beginning with the cultural revolution of the 1960s, progressives have attacked the traditional notions of moral values and absolute truth. The outcome remains an open question.