The Fabric of War: Clothing, Culture and Violence in the American Civil War Era /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Weicksel, Sarah, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2017
Description:1 electronic resource (441 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Leora Auslander; Kathleen N. Conzen Committee members: Thavolia Glymph; James R. Grossman.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 78-12(E), Section: A.
Summary:"The Fabric of War: Clothing, Culture and Violence in the American Civil War Era," changes the terrain on which historians have typically examined the 1860s and 1870s. The project recaptures the intimate, visceral nature of the Civil War and claims a central place for material culture's role in shaping experiences and understandings of war and its aftermath. The adoption of military uniform culture as a public culture of manhood writ large, the destruction of slavery, and Americans' understandings of clothing's power to shape and transform, combined to heighten what people wore to an unprecedented matter of concern. On both sides, clothing was available as a key instrument for civilians, soldiers and the government to wage war---not only as a critical element of wartime supply, but also as a means of fostering loyalties, shaping identities, and making people into citizens. As they negotiated new identities and rights, clothing offered women and men a means of reworking boundaries of belonging---of gender, slavery, freedom, citizenship, and race. Critical to processes of inclusion and exclusion was nineteenth century Americans' belief in clothing's transformative power to alter a person's inner self through the material object. From this vantage point, the Civil War is not only a political, economic, and military struggle between the North and South. It is also the cultural struggle of an entire nation of people for whom the fraying of that nation had profound, material consequences in their everyday lives. By the 1870s, it was abundantly clear that in order to be recognizable as a citizen of the United States, a person had to not only act---but also look--- the part.