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The Wars Impact on Women

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darrell peel

on 23 April 2010

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Transcript of The Wars Impact on Women

The Wars Impact on Women!!! In the name of such euphemisms as sovereignty, democracy, freedom, and liberation, armies everywhere, most notably those who act at the behest of the U.S. military-industrial complex, are exacting a deadly cost. Members of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy joined forces with early Americans in fighting the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In both wars, Iroquois women joined their husbands in battle. By the time the Civil War began in 1861, however, societal roles of Iroquois men and women had changed. Consequently, Iroquois men enlisted in the Union Army and went off to war by themselves. THE IMPACT of WAR on WOMEN!!! CHANGING GENDER ROLES in IROQUOIS SOCIETY. In The Iroquois in the Civil War, from Battlefield to Reservation, Lawrence M. Hauptman describes the influence of Jesuit and Quaker missionaries on Iroquois society during the first half of the 19th century. For hundreds of years, the Iroquois Confederacy enjoyed a culture of societal and economic prosperity. The women managed the fields and orchards at home, planting, tending, and harvesting, while the men were away hunting and trading But by the early 1800s, the influence of white missionaries, as well as the Seneca prophet Handsome Lake, had begun to take hold. Hauptman writes that missionaries discouraged women's work in the fields. UNION ARMY DRIVES RESERVATION ECONOMY!! When Iroquois men went off to war in 1861, the women, ny necessity, returned to the fields. According to Hauptman, census records indicate the productivity of the farmlands and orchards increased markedly during the war, suggesting that "the needs of the Union Army drove the reservation economy" during that time. In spite of the achievments of the women in their natural, agricultural domain when the Civil War ended, the men returned home and the women were once again displaced from the fields. In 1875 New York State census, 51.4 percent of women identified themselves as farmers, compared to 66% of men. By 1900, just 3% of Seneca women were listed in the census as farmers or farm workers. SECURING PENSIONS OFTEN DIFFICULT!!! Written accounts in the pension files of former Civil War soldiers reveal that many came home from the war seriously disabled and in need of extensive care by loved ones, according to Hauptman. Despite wives and other family members writing that wounded Iroquois veterans were unable to work, it often took diligent lobbying by influential politicians and supporters to convince the federal government's pension board to grant the typical $8-per-month pension. WAR!!!! WAR!!!! WAR!!! WAR!!! WAR!!! WAR!!! WAR!!!! CONTINUED!!! To illustrate the difficulties of securing a widow's pension, Hauptman relates the story of Achsah Halftown Shongo, whose husband, Thomas Shongo, served in the infantry of K Company of the 57th Pennsylvania Volunteers. Achsah was required to prove that her husband had drowned in the Ohio River after falling from a steamboat in the late 1860s. She also was required to produce documentation that proved she had, in fact, been married to Thomas, and she had to swear that she had not lived with any man since her husband's death. Her inability to read or white hindered the progress of her case, but 12 years after she first applied, her widow's pension was finally approved in 1903.
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