The Civil War: Changing Roles of African Americans and Women

2269 Words Apr 29th, 2011 10 Pages
Lopez, Robert Gillis-Smith, Beth
English M01A
The Civil War: Changing Roles Of African Americans And Women
There were several events that lead to the American Civil War. The Northern states wanted African Americans to be free from slavery, while the Southern states wanted to continue owning them. The Northern states didn’t need slaves for their economy to thrive, as opposed to the Southern states, where their economy relied heavily on the slave’s free labor. Both sides also argued on whether or not the newly acquired states should be free states or slave states, but since the North’s population growth exceeded the South’s, they had more power in the government. The Northern sates had most of the electoral votes and that
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She goes on and writes, "Emotions, energies, and talents that even they did not realize they possessed were unleashed." She writes about how women proved themselves to more then just housewives.
Before the war, few women were nurses. Being a nurse was a man’s job, but now that most men got called out to the war they were in need of nurses. Since women had the time to help, several volunteered themselves. Many men thought the job wouldn’t be appropriate for them. They didn’t want their delicate women to be subjected to the horrors of war, but as time went on they realized how strong they were, mentally and physically. Although a large amount of them were untrained to be nurses, they did an excellent job attending the soldiers. Some women demonstrated their leadership skills, like Dorothea Dix who stepped forward and became the Union Superintendent of Nurses. She recruited volunteer nurses that were over the age of 30 and were “plain looking women”. She recruited these women because she didn’t want people to think that the women were there for the men’s sexual desires. Since there had already been a big controversy were women were being called prostitutes for being nurses (Wayne). Other women took their housekeeping skills to the soldiers’ camps, cooking and doing their laundry. A few women worked as spies for their