Rachel Wiedman is a third year PhD student studying the antebellum and Civil War era United States with Dr. Michael Woods. She is particularly interested in political culture, gender, and intellectual history during the nineteenth century. Her current work uses eulogies and other public commemorations of political figures to trace how shifting notions of masculinity altered the ideals of political leadership embedded in northern political culture across the Civil War era. She argues that as the politics of slavery prompted debates in the North regarding what kinds of masculinity could defend the moral character of the nation, the criteria northerners used to evaluate public officials shifted from a model of political leadership that was rooted in the values of restrained manhood and favored moderation and compromise, to one that was grounded in the values of martial manhood and prioritized principled antagonism and confrontation.
19th century American political culture, gender, intellectual history, Civil War era United States
BA, History, Philosophy, and Psychology (summa cum laude), St. Ambrose University, 2021