North of the Mason-Dixon line, the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century drew increasing numbers of women out of the home and into the factories. In the agrarian, antebellum South, no such exodus occurred. Many Southerners perceived the forces of modernization - including the early rumblings of the women's suffrage movement - as a threat to their traditional way of life. However, as Fort Sumter fell in April of 1861, so too would many firmly held cultural and societal beliefs about "a woman's place." Hardships and hunger forced ill-prepared, isolated and often un-educated Southern women into the public sphere to demand relief from the government and advocate for policy changes. NO GOING BACK: WOMEN AND THE WAR explores how the lives of women, and their roles in society, changed during and after the Civil War. Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter narrates. Interviews with well-known historians and academics, reenactments at Civil War-era landmarks, and dramatic readings from the letters and journals of women, both free and enslaved, illuminate this fascinating chapter in American history.
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