As of today the United States remains the most dominate country for a variety of reasons. We have been involved in a handful events on our own soil and also across the world. Those events range from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, to the Korean War and beyond. Each of these events have had an effect on the Country in many ways. However there is one war in particular that I wish to discuss, and that war is the Civil War. Being an African American this war caught my interest the most, as the constitution was amended to free slaves after the war. The War opened eyes to many things as you will find some key ones in my paper, such as diseases in war, womens role in the war and the influence on medicine practices.
When we think of war we think of winner and loser and the ones that lose normally surrender or die to the hands of opposition. With plenty of research from my sources that you will find at the end of this paper, I found that many deaths came from something else. That something else were the diseases that began to emerge throughout the four long year war. According to one of my sources titled This Place of Death: Environment as weapon in the American Civil war, Environment was central to the understanding of disease causation in the American Civil War. This source provided me with a variety of reasons of how health and diseases played as key factors
In the midcenturys as new diseases were emerging those around the world who specialized in the medical field all deemed to have the answers. It was said that To my understanding if something began to emerge where it was uncommon, no one had the answer. This article proved me to be right as it was said a theory wasnt developed until late 19th century. The theory was that microbe A causes disease A, and travels from person to person through air, water or insect vector. Sadly the theory classified as Germ theory came a little late as the war had already begun (mid-19th century). However one thing that was a definite answer was the condition of environment throughout the war was a problem. This war was lethal as well over 600,000 people were killed. That wasnt done without damaging the environment.
The chemicals from explosives contaminated waters and destroyed land. That opened up the door for diseases to spread like wild fires. Unbearable conditions opened the door for diseases soldiers became sick and open to diseases like, small pox, malaria, measles and other diseases. Luckily according to the article and further research a physician by the name of Edward Jenner had been practicing Vaccines to prevent/limit smallpox. However they didnt have as many vaccinations, doctors, and resources back then as we do now. Staring at pictures of camps and hospitals, the conditions seemed unsanitary. The sites were not only dirty, but they also seemed over capacity. With an unreasonable ratio of patients to doctors more lives were lost and more diseases spread.
In most pictures trees were chopped down, I would assume that they were for warmth and shelter. Explosions also played a role as mentioned earlier in my paper. This in conclusion destroyed the homes of animals who normally feasted on insects that helped spread diseases, thus allowing the death toll to spike. With all of this going on this allowed physicians like Edward to figure out ways to tackle the numerous diseases like never before. With that said sadly the tragic events through this war proved to be almost like an influence.
In my next source by Thomas G. Cropley of disease management he seemed to agree. The article as stated on the first page discusses the story of how physicians and nurses of the time approached a number of cutaneous diseases of importance in the military. A different war known as the Crimean War experienced something similar. According to the article the British came up with something known as Royal Sanitary Commission. This was a model that strongly helped with health provision throughout the country as a whole. Its interesting as it happened shortly before the Civil war. With that said to no surprise Cropley went on to discuss how the United States went on to mock their own model after it, (United States Sanitary Commission).
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