Life At Home During the War
While many men were out at war, women, children, and elders were left back home, trying to continue on with their lives. But it was difficult, considering men were the only ones who could go out and do real jobs, while women were supposed to be pure and stay at home to watch children. Before we knew it, the war came. At first, me fought with glory, but over time, the number of deaths led to a number of new soldiers needed. More men left, and women were left at home with children and entirely new jobs. Not only did this change women’s opinions about jobs, but it changed their opinions about life and let them understand that they could do something too, resulting in a longing for true equality.
Bustle in North
Yes, a war was going on during the 1850s, but it was fought mainly in the South. People in the North were still trying to maintain jobs and live “normal” lives. Cities were filled with people, and because there were so many, there were many operas, lectures, and concerts. They attracted many people, so there was actually quite pleasant to live in the city at the time. Keep in mind that there was a major war going on at the time. Are we really that indifferent when other people are being killed, rather than those we closely know? I mean, I understand that you’re supposed to move on from things like that, but is it truly a good idea to disregard the fact that people are being killed while we have the nerve to watch comedies and eat excessive amounts of food? We did a great job at changing ideas and ending slavery, but I still believe than many people, including myself, aren’t strong enough to understand the true cost of winning a war and how terribly everything goes when there is one.
Destruction of Southern Land
The Civil War was fought in the border states and in the deeper South. It made it extremely difficult for families to continue farming, or even to keep their house safe. Women were usually mending or making clothes, raising children, and cleaning the house. Now they had to take over the men’s jobs, as well as be aware of Union soldiers occupying nearby land. It’s almost like they were constantly being watched and that if they did something wrong, the war could just kill the people in their families, or a battle could end up in their backyard.
In the 19th century, the United States was just earning its title as “The Melting Pot.” Many immigrants had entered this country for freedom and the abundance of jobs. It could be considered a mutual relationship, because they got jobs for what they considered good pay, and factories got many more employees willing to work for the salary they were given.
Women and Immigrants in Charge
Almost all of the men had left home to go to war, either from pride or from the draft. With all the men gone, women were in charge. In the farms, they became heads of households and took on the hard labor or plowing in the fields. Some women even worked as nurses on the battlefield, or even disguised as men so they could enlist in the army. Immigrants brought their traditions from overseas and established churches, a large part of their culture. However, there was still the constant threat of survival and whether or not their families would be safe.
While families were close-knit before the war, many still believed differently from each other. Families were broken up, while a father would fight on one side with his son, while two other sons may be fighting against them. They would end up killing family members on the battlefield. For example, Mary Todd [Lincoln]’s half brother was a Confederate prison commandant. John J. Crittenden, the Kentucky governor who tried to prevent the war with a compromise, had two sons fighting on different sides of the war. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to kill an innocent person you know just because your opinions are different.
Not only were families fighting each other, but everyday families would get news of a father, brother, uncle, or other family member dying on the battlefield or in a prison camp. Nobody was safe, and nobody was innocent. The war tore everything apart, but was created to bring our country back together. Ironic, huh.