All that Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War by Stephen W. Berry

By Stephen W. Berry

In could 1861, Jefferson Davis issued a basic 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 may have attributed their zeal to the reason for states' rights or slavery. As All That Makes a guy: Love and Ambition within the Civil conflict South makes transparent, so much southern males observed the battle extra easily as a attempt in their manhood, an opportunity to safeguard the dignity in their sweethearts, fianc?s, and other 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 each one man's existence. Their writings exhibit a male-dominated Southern tradition that exalted ladies as "repositories of divine grace" and valuable romantic love because the platform from which males introduced their bids for greatness. The exhilarating onset of struggle looked as if it would those, and such a lot southern males, a grand chance to meet their ambition for glory and to end up their love for women--on a similar box of conflict. because the realities of the struggle grew to become obvious, despite the fact that, the letters and diaries became from idealized subject matters 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 fact. of their look for a reason helpful in their lives, many Southern infantrymen have been disenchanted of their hopes for a Southern kingdom. yet they nonetheless had their women's love, and there they'd rebuild.

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The master of fourteen plantations spanning several states, Elliott practiced diversified farming, experimented with different systems of crop rotation and irrigation, and not only kept up with the agricultural journals but contributed to them. And still he could claim in 1854 that he felt like a man on a treadmill: “Though I have not squandered, but on      33 This antebellum cartoon captures the emerging distinction between Northern and Southern adolescents. The Northern boy is penitently posed, worshiping at the altar of capitalism, devoted to learning a trade, and respectful of his elders.

Eclat had exactly this sort of conveniently vague flamboyance. This chapter examines the e´clat-based culture of men like Thomas Butler King. Here the focus is on ambition, one of James Henry Hammond’s “two things,” a constituent element of the antebellum male life. Like love or hate or hope, ambition has been a part of the human experience for time out of mind. This does not mean, though, that it remains unchanged through time or that it plays the same role in every age and culture. In the case of the Old South, I will argue, men’s ambitions were grander, more appalling, and more personally destructive than is usually allowed.

But the country needed a better port at Darien, and it needed a transcontinental railroad. How else could it fulfill its destiny? 5 This spirit of e´clat, while not peculiar to the South, ran deepest in places where mastery over environment and slaves lent a certain grandness to a man’s vision. To be sure, slaveholding could degrade the quality of a man’s conscience. The presence of a subject class on whom depravity could be practiced with impunity offered to all and provided to many a tempting descent into a dark demimonde of 22    violence and sin.

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