Nevertheless, She Persisted: Antebellum Women’s Education And Shifting Gender Roles In The South

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brittney Maslowski (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Kristen Baldwin-Deathridge

Abstract: During the Civil War, elite, southern families faced financial difficulties, which prompted women to enter the workforce and instigated a social transformation of traditional gender roles. The most practical way a woman could enter the workforce was as a teacher. To become a teacher, a woman needed to be educated. For wealthy, southern women the nineteenth century was a turning point in their education. No longer attending school just to take courses in needlework, women were sent to boarding schools to learn diverse subjects such as English, Mathematics, and Geography. The transition from eighteenth to nineteenth century educational standards is demonstrated in school samplers. Young girls completed samplers to learn basic sewing techniques; however, patterns stitched onto the samplers often related to other courses. Practicing the alphabet or the geography of the United States, samplers were a way for young girls to reinforce lessons learned in other classes. A form of material culture, samplers are the physical evidence for how antebellum women were educated. Through this material culture evidence of education this thesis will connect schoolgirl samplers to women acquiring teaching positions during the Civil War, and will argue that this contributed to the overall shift in southern gender roles.

Additional Information

Maslowski, B. (2017). "Nevertheless, She Persisted: Antebellum Women’s Education And Shifting Gender Roles In The South." Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Antebellum, Civil War, Women’s Education, Gender Roles, South

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