Southern Women In The Civil War Essay

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The American Civil War was a national conflict that divided the nation and brought about dramatic changes to America for years to come. The once powerful country found itself at war with its own people. By the early nineteenth century, differences between the North and the South involving different economies and political beliefs began to develop and became problematic. The expansion of slavery in territories and the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 caused more tension that led several Southern states to secede from the Union and form their own nation known as the Confederate States of America. On April 12th1861, Confederate soldiers bombarded the Union at Fort Sumter and the Civil War officially began. The war would continue…show more content…
“Southern women assumed new roles during the Civil War, ranging from nursing to managing plantations.”[17] The most common jobs for women in the South during the Civil War included teaching, government jobs, nurses, and plantation workers.[18] The majority of women in the Southern states found themselves as farmers. Females took care of crops and all rural work while men were away. Letters of females reveal information about their everyday life during the war. They served important roles maintaining farms and many became farm managers. They strictly followed the seasons and other agricultural events while running plantations. “The Southern shortage of labor was so severe that even some black women, free and enslaved, found new opportunities to work for wages.” For elite women, many volunteered because they were wealthy enough to not need wages and instead took positions of authority for their volunteer work.[19] Women who worked for wages included immigrants, free colored women and working class white women because they needed the money in order to take care of their families. [20] While African American women did receive wages for their work many free and enslaved African American women held jobs that were more physically difficult and daunting than white working class women. [21] Like white Northern women, white Southern women often found employment from the government. They worked in the treasury department as clerks as well as the Clothing Bureau and post offices. They also were able to be teachers and found jobs at school houses working with children of different age

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