The Romance of Reunion

The Romance of Reunion

Northerners and the South, 1865-1900

eBook - 1993
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
Examines the changing views on gender and race in the society and culture of both the North and South after the Civil War

Book News
Silber (history, Boston U.) draws on tourist accounts, novels, minstrel shows, and popular magazines to show how northern hostility toward the South changed after the War Between the States into a romantic image of kinship. She argues that the defeated South was feminized, and that archetypes were constructed to represent an America that was supposed to have been lost to industrialization, immigration, and engagement in foreign politics. Her study might alert scholars to similar patterns in Germany today. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.

The University of North Carolina Press
Romance of Reunion: Northerners and the South, 1865-1900
The reconciliation of North and South following the Civil War depended as much on cultural imagination as on the politics of Reconstruction. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Nina Silber documents the transformation from hostile sectionalism to sentimental reunion rhetoric. Northern culture created a notion of reconciliation that romanticized and feminized southern society. In tourist accounts, novels, minstrel shows, and popular magazines, northerners contributed to a mythic and nostalgic picture of the South that served to counter their anxieties regarding the breakdown of class and gender roles in Gilded Age America. Indeed, for many Yankees, the ultimate symbol of the reunion process, and one that served to reinforce Victorian values as well as northern hegemony, was the marriage of a northern man and a southern woman. Southern men also were represented as affirming traditional gender roles. As northern men wrestled with their nation's increasingly global and aggressive foreign policy, the military virtues extolled in Confederate legend became more admired than reviled. By the 1890s, concludes Silber, northern whites had accepted not only a newly resplendent image of Dixie but also a sentimentalized view of postwar reunion.
The reconciliation of North and South following the Civil War depended as much on cultural imagination as on the politics of Reconstruction. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Nina Silber documents the transformation from hostile sectionalism to sentimental reunion rhetoric. Northern culture created a notion of reconciliation that romanticized and feminized southern society. In tourist accounts, novels, minstrel shows, and popular magazines, northerners contributed to a mythic and nostalgic picture of the South that served to counter their anxieties regarding the breakdown of class and gender roles in Gilded Age America. Indeed, for many Yankees, the ultimate symbol of the reunion process, and one that served to reinforce Victorian values as well as northern hegemony, was the marriage of a northern man and a southern woman. Southern men also were represented as affirming traditional gender roles. As northern men wrestled with their nation's increasingly global and aggressive foreign policy, the military virtues extolled in Confederate legend became more admired than reviled. By the 1890s, concludes Silber, northern whites had accepted not only a newly resplendent image of Dixie but also a sentimentalized view of postwar reunion.


Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : University of North Carolina Press, c1993
ISBN: 9780807864487
080786448X
0807821160
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xii, 257 p.) : ill

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at IPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top