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The burden of their class: college-educated New Englanders and leadership in the Civil War era

Wongsrichanalai, Kanisorn
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Wongsrichanalai, Kanisorn
Kett, Joseph
Gallagher, Gary
Ayers, Edward L
This dissertation focuses on the social and gendered world of college-educated New Englanders who fought in the American Civil War. The project explores how, during the antebellum period, these young men, who were being groomed as society's future leaders, tried to live by idealized behaviors as encompassed by the term "character," in order to be viewed as good and moral gentlemen in Victorian society. It investigates what young leaders thought of United States history and the nation's prospects in an age of sectional agitation over the issue of slavery. The dissertation argues that college-educated men were influenced to volunteer in the United States armed forces by their pre-war ideas about proper behavior and the importance of the Union. It follows college-educated men into the war and notes how they interacted with common soldiers and faced battle. Additionally, this work examines college men's reactions to national leadership during the war years and ends with a consideration of how New England's young leaders reacted to seeing the South and meeting southerners, white and black. The major themes in this project include leadership, nationalism, masculinity, and social identity.  Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.
University of Virginia, Department of History, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 2010
Published Date
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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