By Stephen W. Berry
In may perhaps 1861, Jefferson Davis issued a normal demand volunteers for the accomplice military. males spoke back in such numbers that 200,000 needed to be grew to become away. Few of those males could have attributed their zeal to the reason for states' rights or slavery. As All That Makes a guy: Love and Ambition within the Civil struggle South makes transparent, such a lot southern males observed the warfare extra easily as a try in their manhood, an opportunity to safeguard the distinction in their sweethearts, fianc?s, and better halves again domestic. Drawing upon diaries and private letters, Stephen Berry seamlessly weaves jointly the tales of six very varied males, detailing the tangled roles that love and ambition performed in every one man's lifestyles. Their writings exhibit a male-dominated Southern tradition that exalted girls as "repositories of divine grace" and precious romantic love because the platform from which males introduced their bids for greatness. The exhilarating onset of conflict appeared to those, and so much southern males, a grand chance to satisfy their ambition for glory and to end up their love for women--on an identical box of conflict. because the realities of the struggle grew to become obvious, even if, the letters and diaries became from idealized issues of honor and state to solemn reflections on love and residential. dependent and poetic, All That Makes a guy recovers the emotional lives of unsung Southern women and men and divulges that the fiction of chilly Mountain mirrors a poignant truth. of their look for a reason useful in their lives, many Southern infantrymen have been upset of their hopes for a Southern kingdom. yet they nonetheless had their women's love, and there they might rebuild.
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Extra info for All that Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South
In the face of such constrictions, young men did what they always do when times are tight and opportunities few and beneath them—they hung around the house, living lavishly on their parents’ ample account. Needless to say, this did not go over well with the parents themselves. 17 This concern was especially common in the planting class, where wealth allowed young men to display their impertinence in all its foppish ﬁnery. Hammond, for instance, called his sons “dead weights” who “growl, grumble, sulk and do nothing.
At the same time, these same sons were with increasing frequency entering professions other than planting, where they came up against mundanities of a workaday world that little comported with the models for manhood they had been taught in school. How could Southern men live up to increasingly romantic ideals of civilizing manhood when the expansive work of winning the empire was giving way to the more mundane work of administrating it? How could they be contented clerks and mechanics—as their Yankee brethren seemed to be—when their expectations for themselves ran always toward energy and e´clat?
This should not distract, though, from the degree to which Southern expansionist rhetoric was consistent with American expansionist rhetoric generally. In its tendency to view the world as poised on the brink of revolutionary consolidation, and in its penchant for viewing race as the organizing principle of that revolution, the Republic of Virginia article offers a perspective as much American as Southern. The article’s racism, too, owes more to race-based imperialism than to militant slavocracy.