The Man Who Started the American Civil War: Southern Honor, Emotion, and James Chesnut, Jr.

Tutkimustuotos: OpinnäyteVäitöskirja

Kuvaus

This study examines honor and honorable emotional expressions in the nineteenth-century American South. I argue that honor was a behavior that facilitated emotional expression in three ways: recognizing acceptable emotions; navigating in society by expressing acceptable emotions; and identifying and achieving life goals. This can be seen in the life and political career of James Chesnut, Jr. (1815–1885), a prominent southern statesman.

This study also approaches southern society more broadly. First, I suggest that rather than an unequivocal or static code, the prevailing idea of honor was shaped by multiple individual interpretations of honor. Individuals had to constantly recalibrate their notion of honor to coincide with other peoples’ notions of honor. Second, I propose that honor was a tool for identifying and expressing appropriate emotions. I have used James Chesnut as a case study because his life choices and actions can be read as responses to the requirements of southern honor and prevailing emotional guidelines.

I use specific examples of the use of honor as a guideline. I discuss how parents inculcated a sense of honor in their sons, inducing young men to develop an understanding of honor and to recognize honorable emotional expression. Later, as adults, men had to acknowledge the requirements of honor in every life choice and action. I propose that honor helped Southerners formulate and express emotions: instead of displaying the raw emotions of the private sphere, one was expected to demonstrate their noble counterparts, the emotions of the public sphere. I also suggest that the unstable nature of honor was most obvious in times of crisis, such as during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Then, the role of honor and the importance of honor-related emotional expression intensified. Because of major changes in society, however, individual goals changed and the necessity to forcefully alter the understanding of honor arose.

This work is a conceptual study: it examines the features of honor in a specific context, the nineteenth-century American South. It is, nonetheless, also a study on the history of emotions, exploring southern emotionologies or emotion repertoires. Textual analysis is, therefore, especially important for this study which examines how emotional expression was formulated into words.
Alkuperäiskielienglanti
Myöntävä instituutio
  • Helsingin yliopisto
Valvoja/neuvonantaja
  • Peltonen, Markku, Valvoja
  • Saikku, Mikko, Valvoja
Myöntöpäivämäärä5 syyskuuta 2018
TilaJulkaistu - kesäkuuta 2017
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG4 Tohtorinväitöskirja (monografia)

Tieteenalat

  • 615 Historia ja arkeologia
  • Yhdysvaltain etelävaltiot
  • Yhdysvaltain historia
  • Chesnut, James Jr.
  • kunnia
  • tunnehistoria
  • Yhdysvaltain sisällissota

Lainaa tätä

@phdthesis{3b2bbf98f3c14581adea3bcc65644dd3,
title = "The Man Who Started the American Civil War: Southern Honor, Emotion, and James Chesnut, Jr.",
abstract = "This study examines honor and honorable emotional expressions in the nineteenth-century American South. I argue that honor was a behavior that facilitated emotional expression in three ways: recognizing acceptable emotions; navigating in society by expressing acceptable emotions; and identifying and achieving life goals. This can be seen in the life and political career of James Chesnut, Jr. (1815–1885), a prominent southern statesman.This study also approaches southern society more broadly. First, I suggest that rather than an unequivocal or static code, the prevailing idea of honor was shaped by multiple individual interpretations of honor. Individuals had to constantly recalibrate their notion of honor to coincide with other peoples’ notions of honor. Second, I propose that honor was a tool for identifying and expressing appropriate emotions. I have used James Chesnut as a case study because his life choices and actions can be read as responses to the requirements of southern honor and prevailing emotional guidelines.I use specific examples of the use of honor as a guideline. I discuss how parents inculcated a sense of honor in their sons, inducing young men to develop an understanding of honor and to recognize honorable emotional expression. Later, as adults, men had to acknowledge the requirements of honor in every life choice and action. I propose that honor helped Southerners formulate and express emotions: instead of displaying the raw emotions of the private sphere, one was expected to demonstrate their noble counterparts, the emotions of the public sphere. I also suggest that the unstable nature of honor was most obvious in times of crisis, such as during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Then, the role of honor and the importance of honor-related emotional expression intensified. Because of major changes in society, however, individual goals changed and the necessity to forcefully alter the understanding of honor arose.This work is a conceptual study: it examines the features of honor in a specific context, the nineteenth-century American South. It is, nonetheless, also a study on the history of emotions, exploring southern emotionologies or emotion repertoires. Textual analysis is, therefore, especially important for this study which examines how emotional expression was formulated into words.",
keywords = "615 History and Archaeology, Yhdysvaltain etel{\"a}valtiot, Yhdysvaltain historia, Chesnut, James Jr., kunnia, tunnehistoria, Yhdysvaltain sis{\"a}llissota, southern history, American history, Chesnut, James Jr., honor, history of emotions, U.S. Civil war",
author = "Anna Koivusalo",
year = "2017",
month = "6",
language = "English",
school = "University of Helsinki",

}

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T1 - The Man Who Started the American Civil War

T2 - Southern Honor, Emotion, and James Chesnut, Jr.

AU - Koivusalo, Anna

PY - 2017/6

Y1 - 2017/6

N2 - This study examines honor and honorable emotional expressions in the nineteenth-century American South. I argue that honor was a behavior that facilitated emotional expression in three ways: recognizing acceptable emotions; navigating in society by expressing acceptable emotions; and identifying and achieving life goals. This can be seen in the life and political career of James Chesnut, Jr. (1815–1885), a prominent southern statesman.This study also approaches southern society more broadly. First, I suggest that rather than an unequivocal or static code, the prevailing idea of honor was shaped by multiple individual interpretations of honor. Individuals had to constantly recalibrate their notion of honor to coincide with other peoples’ notions of honor. Second, I propose that honor was a tool for identifying and expressing appropriate emotions. I have used James Chesnut as a case study because his life choices and actions can be read as responses to the requirements of southern honor and prevailing emotional guidelines.I use specific examples of the use of honor as a guideline. I discuss how parents inculcated a sense of honor in their sons, inducing young men to develop an understanding of honor and to recognize honorable emotional expression. Later, as adults, men had to acknowledge the requirements of honor in every life choice and action. I propose that honor helped Southerners formulate and express emotions: instead of displaying the raw emotions of the private sphere, one was expected to demonstrate their noble counterparts, the emotions of the public sphere. I also suggest that the unstable nature of honor was most obvious in times of crisis, such as during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Then, the role of honor and the importance of honor-related emotional expression intensified. Because of major changes in society, however, individual goals changed and the necessity to forcefully alter the understanding of honor arose.This work is a conceptual study: it examines the features of honor in a specific context, the nineteenth-century American South. It is, nonetheless, also a study on the history of emotions, exploring southern emotionologies or emotion repertoires. Textual analysis is, therefore, especially important for this study which examines how emotional expression was formulated into words.

AB - This study examines honor and honorable emotional expressions in the nineteenth-century American South. I argue that honor was a behavior that facilitated emotional expression in three ways: recognizing acceptable emotions; navigating in society by expressing acceptable emotions; and identifying and achieving life goals. This can be seen in the life and political career of James Chesnut, Jr. (1815–1885), a prominent southern statesman.This study also approaches southern society more broadly. First, I suggest that rather than an unequivocal or static code, the prevailing idea of honor was shaped by multiple individual interpretations of honor. Individuals had to constantly recalibrate their notion of honor to coincide with other peoples’ notions of honor. Second, I propose that honor was a tool for identifying and expressing appropriate emotions. I have used James Chesnut as a case study because his life choices and actions can be read as responses to the requirements of southern honor and prevailing emotional guidelines.I use specific examples of the use of honor as a guideline. I discuss how parents inculcated a sense of honor in their sons, inducing young men to develop an understanding of honor and to recognize honorable emotional expression. Later, as adults, men had to acknowledge the requirements of honor in every life choice and action. I propose that honor helped Southerners formulate and express emotions: instead of displaying the raw emotions of the private sphere, one was expected to demonstrate their noble counterparts, the emotions of the public sphere. I also suggest that the unstable nature of honor was most obvious in times of crisis, such as during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Then, the role of honor and the importance of honor-related emotional expression intensified. Because of major changes in society, however, individual goals changed and the necessity to forcefully alter the understanding of honor arose.This work is a conceptual study: it examines the features of honor in a specific context, the nineteenth-century American South. It is, nonetheless, also a study on the history of emotions, exploring southern emotionologies or emotion repertoires. Textual analysis is, therefore, especially important for this study which examines how emotional expression was formulated into words.

KW - 615 History and Archaeology

KW - Yhdysvaltain etelävaltiot

KW - Yhdysvaltain historia

KW - Chesnut, James Jr.

KW - kunnia

KW - tunnehistoria

KW - Yhdysvaltain sisällissota

KW - southern history

KW - American history

KW - Chesnut, James Jr.

KW - honor

KW - history of emotions

KW - U.S. Civil war

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M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -