Title

The Impact of the American Civil War on Civilian and Industrial Use of Textiles

Author(s)

Rachel HogueFollow

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Sociology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

This project examines textiles during the American Civil War to further consider the impact fiber related material culture had on the lives of civilians in both the Northern and Southern regions from 1860-1865. Two study approaches were used in attempt to create a comprehensive understanding of textiles during the period. This included a wide-view look at the industrial impact, as well as studying the specific civilian perspective during the war. Artifacts, such as diaries and extant clothing, provided data to develop an encompassing story of textiles during the war by giving insight into the manufacturing decisions of both the military, civilians, and business owners throughout their daily lives. Constant references to textile shortages and increasing cloth prices found in diaries and newspapers serve as indication to an expansive textile crisis faced by the South. In contrast, sources from the North lack mention of these hardships. This may suggest that the war had a much smaller impact on the daily usage of textiles within the Union. However the data also shows that textile related hardships remained as a topic of discussion amongst government officials and within academic circles as the war progressed. During the American Civil War, textiles found a distinct place of importance in the social and industrial spheres of both the North and South. This impact stretched globally and moved beyond mere cotton manufacturing in its impact, manifesting how integral textiles and dress are to the social and industrial developments in our societies.

Location

Furman Hall 207

Start Date

3-28-2020 1:30 PM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 1:30 PM

The Impact of the American Civil War on Civilian and Industrial Use of Textiles

Furman Hall 207

This project examines textiles during the American Civil War to further consider the impact fiber related material culture had on the lives of civilians in both the Northern and Southern regions from 1860-1865. Two study approaches were used in attempt to create a comprehensive understanding of textiles during the period. This included a wide-view look at the industrial impact, as well as studying the specific civilian perspective during the war. Artifacts, such as diaries and extant clothing, provided data to develop an encompassing story of textiles during the war by giving insight into the manufacturing decisions of both the military, civilians, and business owners throughout their daily lives. Constant references to textile shortages and increasing cloth prices found in diaries and newspapers serve as indication to an expansive textile crisis faced by the South. In contrast, sources from the North lack mention of these hardships. This may suggest that the war had a much smaller impact on the daily usage of textiles within the Union. However the data also shows that textile related hardships remained as a topic of discussion amongst government officials and within academic circles as the war progressed. During the American Civil War, textiles found a distinct place of importance in the social and industrial spheres of both the North and South. This impact stretched globally and moved beyond mere cotton manufacturing in its impact, manifesting how integral textiles and dress are to the social and industrial developments in our societies.