The Plantation Mistress Essay Research Paper The

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The Plantation Mistress Essay, Research Paper The Plantation Mistress is written by Catherine Clinton. Her purpose of writing is to inform readers the chaotic lives of the white female gender in the slave society before the Civil War. Clinton goes into specific detail describing the situations that southern women endured every day. She collected memoirs and diaries of actual planter wives and daughters. These confessions magnify the reality of trials and tribulations during a dark time in American History. Furthermore, there are many specifics that are explicated in The Plantation Mistress. One aspect discussed in detail is the issue of cousin marriage. From an early age, and even when separated geographically, cousins developed close and warm relationships that continued

throughout a lifetime. Children were isolated on the plantations and rarely met people of their own age outside their kinship network as they were growing up. Also, the older ladies could only associate themselves with men who were related to them. This confinement of only associating with your blood ties caused an easy escape for intimacy. Cousin marriage also kept the money within the family. The wealth and property remained inside the family alliance. Moving on, another specific topic covered in The Plantation Mistress is the birth of children. It is the most celebrated of family events; however, female babies were discriminated against greatly. It was a disappointment to give birth to a daughter because southerners without sons were faced with the extinction of their family

name and inheritance. Only sons would continue family traditions and carry on the name. In addition, the view of American History that is presented in The Plantation Mistress is a deep sincerity toward the white southern female during the slave society. They had great responsibilities from keeping the house in order to watching over the slaves in the fields. The book shows the importance of the plantation mistress, and how the American Society in the south would not be possible without these avid workers. Furthermore, The Plantation Mistress departs from what is taught in the American Passages textbook. The important place in American History of the plantation mistress is not expressed in the textbook. They are overlooked and not given credit for their duties in the past. On the

other hand, The Plantation Mistress greatly adds to what I have learned in the textbook. This is mainly because I was never revealed the vital role that the southern female has played during the slave society. Also, a new concept that I have learned from The Plantation Mistress is that during the slave society, women were actually slaves in their own aspect. They were sold off into marriage with little regard for their dignity and human status. Likewise, women were put in a complex position within the plantation society. They were subject to their father’s will, and a married female was by law under her husband’s total control. Females were inferior to males in every point of view. One event that is particularly outstanding in The Plantation Mistress is the sharp rise in

female education in the late eighteenth century. To birth a new nation built on liberty, New Englanders and Southerners alike promoted female education. Also, education maintains class status. A woman’s future status is importantly determined by her education. Regardless of social status, a good education for a female attracted upper class men. Moreover, fathers of the planter class believed that education gave their daughters an advantage on the marriage market. They invested time and money in their daughters because the maternal reward of a successful match could mean financial help from a wealthy mate. In addition, this event is important to American History because it shows that proper schooling can make anyone a successful person. Even in today’s society, a good