The Cult Of True Womanhood By Barbara Welter

Great Essays
In the years before the Civil War, the lives of American women were shaped by a set of ideals of something called True Womanhood. Women were perceived to be perfect and were forced to follow religion and be within the four characteristics of virtue that defined women (piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness) and not to step out of those boundaries.
However, that all changed when their husbands, brothers, sons, and more were sent off to go to war. During the Civil War, American women turned their attention to the world outside the home and many played many different and important parts. Women’s contributions are probably more widely thought of on the battlefield. Women had to take over the jobs that were usually held by men. From a social
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In the article “The Cult of True Womanhood” by Barbara Welter, she analyzes true woman hood and how society portrayed a so called ideal woman in the nineteen century. In the second article, “Women and the Civil War by Teaching with primary sources” by MTSU, they spoke about the different roles women took on during the Civil War. In “Women and the American Civil War” by Elizabeth A. Novara, she exposes the many themes of women in different perspectives during the war. In the last article by Lesniak, Rhonda Goodman called “Expanding the Role of Women as Nurses During the American Civil War”, the author used documents such as letters and diary entries by women during the Civil War period to expose the many roles filled by women. The four books that I will include more information about are called “Battle scars : gender and sexuality in the American Civil War” by Catherine Clinton and Nina Silber in which the authors talked about women and men during the Civil War. The second and third novels bring up documents and essays of people during the war called, ”Occupied Women: Gender, Military Occupation, and the American Civil Wat” by LeeAnn Whites and Alecia P. Long, and “Women and the American Civil War: an annotated bibliography” by Theresa McDevitt. The final book that will be spoken about is, “The …show more content…
Women during that time did not have much power or any rights at all compared to men. Women were depicted into a certain role in society. Their lives were revolved around work inside the household. Barbara Welter showed that women had been pressured into the cult of true womanhood by a variety of social institutions; such as the church, media, and the educational system. Welter states in multiple ways that women seemed to be the “hostages in the home” (Welter, 1966, p.151). With this she exposed the brutality of women’s rights during the Civil War. Using a word like ‘hostages’ to describe women throughout the war or during that time truly shows that women were not respected the way that they should have been. A book that also exposes this is, “The Struggle for Equality: Essays on Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction” by Orville Vernon Burton, Jerald Podair, Jennifer L. Weber. The authors bring up three essays about the struggle for equality during the Civil War for women. These essays were inspired by the life and work of James M. McPherson who is an American historian. In the novel, the authors stated that during the war, “Women pushed for expanded educational opportunities, as well as in labor and the professions, as an organized women’s rights movement” (Burton, Podair, & Weber, 2011, p. 130). The labor and job of social housekeeping was far too

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