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Marriage on the BorderLove, Mutuality, and Divorce in the Upper South during the Civil War$
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Allison Dorothy Fredette

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813179155

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813179155.001.0001

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Irreconcilable Differences

Irreconcilable Differences

(p.105) 4 Irreconcilable Differences
Marriage on the Border

Allison Dorothy Fredette

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores the devastating experience of the Civil War in the border South. The chapter opens with the secession crisis, which gave western Virginians their long-awaited opportunity to break away from their eastern neighbors. A close analysis of their debates and rhetoric in the secession convention, as well as in their later constitutional convention, reveals the impact of the border South’s particular form of manhood. Without their unique understanding of hierarchy, restraint, submission, and emotion, western Virginians may not have ventured down the path to statehood. This section demonstrates the importance of gendered ideals, forged within the walls of the household, to the political world. The second half of the chapter reveals how the brutal conflict in the border South reinforced the importance of domestic ties and a sense of mutuality within the home.

Keywords:   Civil War, Home Front, Statehood, Secession, Guerrilla Warfare, Masculinity, Gender Roles, Marriage, Border States

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