Maintaining the Home Front: Widows, Wives and War in Late Eighteenth Century Cuba

TitleMaintaining the Home Front: Widows, Wives and War in Late Eighteenth Century Cuba
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsJohnson, Sherry
EditorHagemann, Karen, Gisela Mettele, and Jane Rendall
Book TitleGender, War and Politics: Transatlantic Perspectives, 1775-1830
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityBasingstoke, UK; New York

This book chapter examines the situation of widows and  wives at the homefront in the wars of late eighteenth century. Individual case studies offer rare glimpses into the personal life of military families in Cuba during a period punctuated by international conflicts with consequences throughout the Caribbean. The chapter explores the wartime experiences of Cuban women compared to and contrasted with those of women elsewhere in the Atlantic world. As a result of the demands that war—indeed, even the threat of war—placed on Cuba as a whole, women routinely took on roles traditionally assigned to men. Over time, these reversed roles became second nature to many military wives, widows and daughters, giving Cuban women a degree of agency that was unique in the Hispanic Caribbean.

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