Collections > Traces: The UNC-Chapel Hill Journal of History > Traces Volume 5 > Yearning for Normalcy: Marriage and Gender in the Slaveholding Class During the Civil War

This article examines the theme of dependence within gender relations and the overall controlling structure of paternalism in the nineteenth-century South through the lens of southern planter class couples’ experiences in the Civil War. It argues that women’s frustrations with their emotional need for their husbands prevented them from acknowledging their diminished need for practical male support. In search of a solution, women reached for the familiarity of patriarchy in ways as varied as the problems themselves.