In these moving stories if Angelina GrimkÉ Weld, wife of abolitionist Theodore Weld, Varina Howell Davis, wife of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, and Julia Dent grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, Carol Berkin reveals how women understood the cataclysmic events of their day. Their stories, taken together, help reconstruct the era of the Civil War with a greater depth and complexity by adding women's experiences and voices to their male counterparts.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Civil War Wives|
|Release Date: 09-08-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Civil War Wives|
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Civil War Wives
"WE ARE A NATION OF CHANGES"
America at the Crossroads in the 1830s
"it was the best of times. It was the worst of times." When Charles Dickens penned these now familiar words of contradiction, he was not speaking of the United States in 1830. Yet the contradiction surely applied, for during this turbulent decade Americans agreed that their country was changing rapidly. But whether the changes they witnessed were for the good or bad, they sharply disagreed.
No one could deny that the nation was growing, both physically and in population. Eight new states had come into the Union since the century began and two more would join before the decade ended. The nation's population had soared, growing from under four million in 1790 to almost thirteen million by 1830. Although the great wave of German and Irish immigration lay ahead in the 1840s, roughly a hundred thousand new Americans would arrive in the United States before the decade was over. Yet if the nation was growing larger, there was a sense that it was also becoming more intimate, for a revolution in transportation and communication
was in full swing. Toll roads crisscrossed the country, creating a transportation network unimagined in the eighteenth century. The heavily traveled National Road had snaked its way through the Appalachian Mountains since the 1820s, and by 1830 it reached as far as the Ohio River. Construction on a state-of-the-art highway soon followed, and by 1838 it carried people and produce as far as Illinois. A system of canals, including the famous Erie Canal, now linked the western countryside to the cities of the Northeast. Americans were already growing accustomed to the m