This chapter discusses childrearing in South Carolina in 1860 as a transition from premodern to modern. Civil war was on its peak at this time, and women and children were all affected. Despite being torn by the war, husbands and wives consciously raised their children within a patriarchal context. South Carolina men uniformly expressed preference for the birth of a male child to a female child, especially in the case of their the firstborn. Tensions between the traditional and modern occasionally appeared in the event of the naming of a child. Sometimes a new baby had to wait a long time before being named, as was the premodern custom. Parents would simply refer to the child as “Baby.” During this time of war and upheaval, parents put aside their childrearing differences to create a sense of cheerfulness and stability during holidays and birthdays. The discipline of children was a constant source of parental discussion and concern also at this time.
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