Domestic Ideal 1840 - 1870

"HOME", in the middle of the nineteenth century, was a term heavily loaded with cultural, moral, and political associations. It was, of course, a physical space - for the more fortunate, an opulent, trinket-filled structure, for the less fortunate a simple cabin, and for many, slave quarters. To understand home as only a fulfillment of man's need for shelter is to ignore the place it holds in the imagination, and when speaking of nineteenth-century America, is to deny a powerful cultural force.



Maureen E. Riedy
Spring 1997

American Studies @ UVA