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Impact of the Civil War - Coursework Example

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In a lot of ways the war challenged the age old domestic role of women who were forced into roles alien to them. As men left their farms, factories and plantations to fight,…
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Impact of the Civil War

Download file to see previous pages... Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was appointed a contract surgeon to the Union Army in 1863; while others like Belle Boyd and Rose O’Neal Greenhow served as spies. The war permanently altered everyday life for women. Many homes were taken over by the army and converted into temporary hospitals. Women had to bear the pain of seeing the suffering of wounded soldiers. As one lady wrote “The painful impression has seared my very heart. I can never forget it. . . . Every southern breeze is loaded with a terrible scent from the battlefield, which renders my home very disagreeable at times.” (Kelly)
In the north women organized aid societies to supply troops with necessities. They also organized fund raising campaigns to raise money. In the higher social order, there were still lavish parties which were mere outward manifestations of wealth, but these too were tempered with news of the death of loved ones.
In the south, women were used to a life of being waited on by their slaves and the war put a rude end to this lifestyle. The burden of the traditional roles of men of managing the plantations and their slaves as well as disciplining children now fell on women. The institution of marriage too was impacted by the war. With death tolls rising, women often married men younger than themselves and sex outside marriage became more common. Many women opted for jobs or higher education.
Perhaps the most significant impact of the civil war on women was that they gained the confidence to be self-reliant, and this paved the way for their liberation. Above all, the war aided women in moving out of the shadow of men and altering the age old notion of gender ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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