Women During The Civil War

3240 Words13 Pages
The American Civil War was a time of pronounced racial and gender role changes. Despite political tension and fighting, many women began to hold a variety of jobs in order to make valuable contributions to the war effort. Moreover, a patriarchal government governed the effects of slavery and the economy. Nonetheless, the influence women had during the Civil War tends to be minimized, especially African American women. Despite facing discrimination, black women greatly influenced the war effort. The discrimination they faced is most prominently seen through wage disparities between white and black female workers and the pensions black women were denied when the war came to an end. One such occupation African American women held were as…show more content…
Approximately 750,000 men died; a death toll greater than those who passed in all other American wars combined. This means soldiers were dying at incredibly high rates and as a result, there was a great need for medical personnel in both hospitals and the battlefield. Most of these numbers are said to be the result of illnesses such as dysentery, small pox, malaria and typhoid which killed more soldiers than battle wounds. Because of this, many African American women took on different jobs to contribute to the war effort such as becoming nurses. Although most nurses tended to be men during the war, a vast amount of females were joining the effort. According to historians, approximately 2000 females worked as nurses in both the North and the South. Record books show that African American nurses served in both the Union and Confederate hospitals. US government hospitals in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina had as many 181 black female and male nurses. Nonetheless; the Civil War would determine the fate of slavery as a result of the nation’s refusal to compromise on the issue between the North and the South. The dividing factor was indeed the institution of slavery and the effect slavery had on the economy. During the 19th century, the north was industrializing; its economy began to rely more on wage laborers rather than slaves. The South’s farming economy, however, remained to rely
Open Document