Women and Their Role in the Civil War
2492 Words10 Pages
With the advent of the 1920s and the signing of the Nineteenth Amendment came a rapid movement toward women’s rights. It sped up with the beginning of World War II where six million women went to work in military factories, producing ammunition and other military goods for the sixteen million troops fighting abroad. The end of the war brought the realization that American women could work just as hard and efficiently as American men. Thus the idea of feminism was born. From here, the momentum continued before taking a hit with the loss of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1980s. This only caused women to fight harder and soon a new generation of independent women arose in the early 1990s. Nowadays, self-sufficient women can be found…show more content…
While debates on slavery and states’ rights divided the government, other factors such as the growth of new industries, businesses, and professions helped create a new middle class, which consisted of families whose husbands worked as lawyers, factory managers, merchants, teachers, and physicians. With this new class rose a new attitude about work and family. The common idea was that:
When husbands went off to work, they helped create the view that men alone should support the family. This belief held that the world of work, the public sphere, was a rough world, where a man did what he had to in order to succeed, that it was full of temptations, violence, and trouble. A woman who ventured out into such a world could easily fall prey to it, for women were weak and delicate creatures. A woman's place was therefore in the private sphere, in the home, where she took charge of all that went on. (Lavender)
Such notions evolved as work moved out of the family unit and became closed off, with the man going to work and the woman remaining at home. With this came a new idea of womanhood called the “cult of domesticity,” which created a new view on a woman’s duty and role while identifying the important virtues of a true woman. Here, the perfect woman contained four essential qualities: piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity,
Essay about The Role of Women in the American Civil War
1937 Words8 Pages
When the American Civil War began on April 12th, 1861, over 3 million Union and Confederate soldiers prepared for battle. Men from all over America were called upon to support their side in the confrontation. While their battles are well documented and historically analyzed for over a hundred years, there is one aspect, one dark spot missing in the picture: the role of women in the American Civil War. From staying at home to take care of the children to disguising themselves as men to fight on the battlefield, women contributed in many ways to the war effort on both sides. Though very few women are recognized for their vital contributions, even fewer are The women during the war felt an obligation to assist in one form or another. Many…show more content…
Mrs. Gordon Example (Confederate Wife) Union and Confederate generals brought their wives either because they longed for their company or the wives' determination to accompany their husbands could not be ignored.
"I wish the Yankees would capture Mrs. Gordon and hold her till this war is over (Volo 170)."
Hawks (Union Nurse) Esther Hill Hawks, M.D. is one of the many women that decided to stay away from the battlefields in order to support the Union Army. She and her husband were well to do doctors that worked in a hospital that took in and cared for black soldiers. On one day Hawks was to expect over five hundred wounded soldiers.
"Two severe amputations today neither surviving but a few hours. One of these, a boy hardly 20 years old, Charley Reason formerly a slave, but of late years resident in Syracuse NY., I have taken a great interest in; he is such a noble looking fellow, and so uncomplaining (Hawks 51)."
"I know what I am fighting for, only a few years ago I ran away from a man in Maryland who said he owned me and since then I've worked on a farm in Syracuse but as soon as the government would take me I came to fight, not for my country, I never had any, but to gain one (Hawks 51)."
Sally Louise Tompkins (Confederate Nurse) Sally Louise Tompkins, of Virginia, was 28 years old when the Civil War broke out. At the time Tompkins was an established nurse and philanthropist. She felt