Patriotic Toil: Northern Women and the American Civil War

TitlePatriotic Toil: Northern Women and the American Civil War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsAttie, Jeanie
PublisherCornell University Press
CityIthaca, NY

During the Civil War, the United States Sanitary Commission attempted to replace female charity networks and traditions of voluntarism with a centralized organization to ensure that women's support for the war effort served an elite, liberal vision of nationhood. After years of debate over women's place in the democracy and status as citizens, soldier relief work offered women an occasion to demonstrate their patriotism and their rights to inclusion in the body politic. Exploring the economic and ideological conflicts that surrounded women's unpaid labor on behalf of the Union army, Jeanie Attie reveals the impact of the Civil War on the gender structure of nineteenth-century America. She illuminates how the war became a testing ground for the gendering of political rights and the ideological separation of men's and women's domains of work and influence [Jacket.]

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