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Title: Carolinian crucible : class, community and loyalty in the South Carolina upcountry, 1860-1865
Author: Doyle, Patrick John
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2013
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The degree of Southern loyalty to the Confederacy has been a central historiographical issue for generations of Civil War historians. Implicitly or explicitly, the debate has rested on an elusive question - why did so many non-slaveholders fight and die for the Confederacy, a slaveholding republic? Frequently, dichotomised answers have been proffered. Some claim that a shared dedication to white supremacy and Confederate nationalist sentiment united the Southern populace, whilst others posit that latent class tensions undercut unity, causing the less affluent to withdraw their support for the cause. It is time for a new, more nuanced approach to the issue of loyalty (or loyalties) during the Civil War. Taking inspiration from recent works that have emphasised the complex relationship between the Confederacy and its citizens, this thesis underscores the multiple and interactive loyalties of ordinary Southern folk, moving beyond binary characterisations of their attachment to the fledgling nation. By exploring these themes within the specific geographic confines of the South Carolina upcountry, this research provides new insight on an old question. Not only has the Palmetto State during the Civil War been markedly under-studied but, as the upcountry avoided invasion by the Union army and was a somewhat diverse region in terms of its socio-economic makeup, it provides the historian with a fine case study for examining broader issues of loyalty and morale. The richness of South Carolina as a location for exploring dedication to the Confederacy is even greater when one considers the fierce and militant pro-slavery position the state took on political issues throughout the antebellum period. This thesis charts the impact of the war on the upcountry’s common white class, arguing that shifting meanings of community and the increased material suffering of their families impinged on their commitment to the Confederate nation. Yet these men and women, generally speaking, never renounced the Confederacy or its war aims. Instead, multiple loyalties to self, family, community, state and nation, which had been mutually compatible at the start of the war, began to misalign and compete in unprecedented ways. As such, this thesis advances our understanding of class, community and loyalty in the Civil War South.
Supervisor: Zacek, Natalie; Brown, David Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available