The Domestication of Women and Blacks for the Sake of Christianity in the 19th Century

Topics: American Civil War, Antebellum, The Nation Pages: 12 (4048 words) Published: April 14, 2013
The Domestication of Women and Blacks for the Sake of Christianity in the 19th Century

The prominence of America has always been setup on the foundations of abstract, utopian idealisms. “Land of the free,” “equal opportunity,” a place where one can achieve the “American dream,” have all been parts of the driving force for the greatness of this nation and how the history of political thought and discourse has constantly promoted this notion of superiority and grandness. The mentality of “American exceptionalism” and maintaining a strong sense of being regarded as the “city upon a hill” are concepts strewn throughout the political rhetoric of transcendent theorists, writers, and political leaders all through the entire narration of American political thought. However, one of the underlying factors and primary facets of these idealistic maxims is the undemanding fact that patriarchal power and male conquest, along with the subordination of Blacks and racialized beings, have been the main driving forces in America reaching this level of greatness, especially before the eyes of God. The mission of building and creating a vast Christian empire is setup upon the domestication of women and people of color and the dominance of white men have led this nation to be rooted in racial inequality and gendered tyranny, distinctively for the purpose of spreading Christian morals and virtues. Contrasting the airy, romantic, widely-known concept of “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator” should be abridged to specifically only mention “all white men." Understanding that this frame of thought is embedded within figures such as Catharine Beecher and John C. Calhoun, during the Ante-bellum era of America, demonstrates that in order for America to reach such an optimum level of superiority and supremacy, groups of people must always be dominated and subjugated as a consequence of God’s will. In this essay, I intend to explore the political rhetoric of Catharine Beecher, a leading educational reformist during Ante-bellum America, as she strongly supported the notion in having women remain in the home to spread Christian virtue. Juxtaposing her rhetoric with the messages of John C. Calhoun, the seventh Vice President of the United States, in his pro-slavery orientation because it was His intentions to keep certain beings in definite roles, are both two political mind frames intended to keep America, as a nation, be the best state in the world. I will argue that the rational of the domestication of certain groups of citizens during Ante-bellum and Post-bellum America being the only way the nation can prosper and be heralded as a model for Christianity, has led to the formation of a country deeply entrenched in racist and sexist thought. Christianizing a Nation at War

The time period leading to the era of the Civil War and even years afterwards, was a phase of great strife and conflict within the union divided by many dichotomous fragments. The North and South, strict-constructionist views and the abolition of slavery, Jacksonian democracy and the Whigs, and countless other separations sundered the nation and bred ideological proximities, ironically all founded upon the goal of spreading Christian virtue and the sake of God’s will. The strong confluence between political ideology and Christian theology during the nineteenth century established a time when one’s view of a democracy and upholding a nation to be the greatest the world has ever seen were all incompatible and clashed to great ends. The Civil War, a war many assume simply aimed to end slavery and abolish the oppressive rights to one’s ownership over an individual’s humanity, was actually a war to maintain the greatness of the Union, as preserving liberty in the nation was a blessing from God everyone must sustain. As even according to Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 “Annual Message to Congress [on] Emancipation,” (2007) states, “In giving freedom to...
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