Virginia's Private War by William Blair Essays

Virginia's Private War by William Blair Essays

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Virginia's Private War by William Blair

Virginia's Private War by William Blair and Tara Revisited by Catherine Clinton seek to primarily explain why the Confederacy lost the Civil War. Virginia's Private War examines this question by focusing on the Virginia home front and the difficulties faced in trying to wage war as a slave society. Tara Revisited examines the question of the Confederate defeat specifically from the perspective of southern women. It pays special focus to contemporary conceptions of the antebellum South, Civil War, and reconstruction. Tara Revisited highlights that much of Southern history from the mentioned periods was romanticized and marketed through music, print media, and film. Clinton believes that romanticized media about the Old South presents a skewed perception of the race and gender inequalities found in antebellum slave society to interested contemporaries. The issue of Southern defeat is most reasonably approached from these texts by focusing on the racial, gender and class issues that existed prior to the Civil War; the definitive role women took in maintaining the Confederacy during the war, and the resilience of the Confederate ideology despite Northern influence in re-shaping Southern identity during reconstruction.
The antebellum South was the period in southern history that existed between the Revolutionary War and the Civil war. The South during this period had solidified its acceptance and reliance on the plantation system. The Southern economy relied on slave labor because of the large work forces required to grow cash crops, which included tobacco, cotton, rice, and indigo. The plantation system functioned using African American slave labor. The heads of the social and p...

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...ation both disseminates and reinforces the roles southern women played in the pre-civil war south and in the reconstructed south. This highlights the idealization of women and their place in antebellum plantation reality and myth and begs the question of weather fictionalism aided or hindered the progression towards reconciliation and civil rights for African Americans.

Ian Higgins
History Of The South
Second Text Analysis Paper
November 5, 2001

William Blair, Virginia's Private War: Feeding Body And Soul In The Confederacy,
1861-1865. (New York: Oxford UP, 1998).

Catherine Clinton, Tara Revisited: Women, War, And The Plantation Legend. (New
York: Abbeville Press, 1995).

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