(Suggested writing time—40 minutes)
Percent of Section II score— 33 1/3
Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying Documents 1-9. (The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.) Write your answer on the lined pages of the Section II free-response booklet.
This question is designed to test your ability to work with and understand historical documents.
Write an essay that:
You may refer to relevant historical information not mentioned in the documents.
1. Using the following documents, analyze responses to the spread of influenza in the early twentieth century.
Historical Background: The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 killed an estimated 50 million people, many more than the total fatalities of the First World War. Approximately 20%–40% of the global population became ill.
1918–1919 Sites of Influenza Outbreaks Mentioned in the Documents
Source: Medical doctor, letter to a friend, Camp Devens, United States Army base near Boston, Massachusetts, 1918.
Camp Devens has about 50,000 men, or it did before the epidemic broke loose. The epidemic started about four weeks ago, and has developed so rapidly that the camp is demoralized and all ordinary work is held up till it has passed. All assemblages of soldiers are taboo. We have been averaging about 100 deaths a day, and still keeping it up.
The normal number of doctors here is about 25 and that has been increased to over 250, all of whom have temporary orders. The little town nearby is quite a sight. It takes special trains to carry away the dead. For several days there were no coffins and the bodies piled up something fierce. We used to go down to the morgue and look at the boys laid out in rows. It beats any sight they ever had in France after a battle.
And you can imagine what the paper work alone is—fierce—and the Government demands all paper work be kept up in good shape. So you can see that we are busy.
Source: Lutiant van Wert, Native American female volunteer office worker, letter to a friend at an Indian school in Kansas, Washington, D.C., 1918.
Katherine and I just returned last Sunday evening from Camp Humphreys “Somewhere in Virginia” where we helped nurse soldiers sick with the Influenza. We were there at the camp for ten days among some of the very worst cases and yet we did not contract it. We had intended staying much longer than we did, but the work was entirely too hard for us. We worked from seven in the morning until seven at night with only a short time for luncheon and dinner. Our chief duties were to give medicines to the patients, take temperatures, fix ice packs, feed them at “eating time,” rub their back or chest with camphorated sweet oil, make egg-noggs, and a whole string of other things that I can’t begin to name. Male orderlies carried the dead soldiers out on stretchers at the rate of two every three hours.
Repeated calls come from the Red Cross to do volunteer work right here in D.C.I volunteered again, but as yet I have not been called and am waiting. They are certainly desperate for nurses—even me can volunteer as a nurse in a camp or in Washington.
All the schools, churches, theaters, dancing halls, etc. are closed here also. There is a bill today in the Senate authorizing all the wartime government workers to stay home for the duration of the epidemic. It has not passed the House of Representatives yet, but I can’t help but hope it does.
Source: “Report on the Epidemic of Influenza in Sierra Leone,” British colonial government of Sierra Leone, West Africa, 1918.
Amongst those most unfortunately situated were those from out of town who lodged with others in [the capital] Freetown. In a number of cases these people, when they became sick, were simply turned out on to the streets. As the epidemic progressed it became apparent that a number of patients were suffering from want of attention and were dying from insufficient care and treatment, either because all the people in a house were sick or because the patients had been deserted by the other residents. In some cases the patients had been actually turned out to the street by the other occupants of the house.
Source: Sanitary Commissioner’s report on the influenza epidemic, Madras, British India, 1918.
People, mostly in the interior, were averse in the beginning to resorting to a medical treatment under a superstitious belief that the epidemic was a visitation of the Hindu Goddess Amman and that no treatment by drugs should be attempted.
Source: Editorial, Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Massachusetts, 1918.
Yet, at the very moment when the churches should be filling the minds of the people with peace, and reassuring them of the impotency of evil, it is proposed that these churches shall be shut, and that the admission shall be made that it is dangerous for men and women to congregate to worship God, for fear the Lord’s arm is so shortened that He cannot contend with microbes.
On the other hand if people believe that God sends pestilence into the world, for the good of the world, what right have they to protect themselves against this pestilence, and to attempt by the drinking of drugs, by methods of segregation, or by any means at all, to prevent the anger of the Lord from taking effect.
Source: Editorial, Brazilian newspaper, Rio de Janeiro, 1918.
The first thing that took us by surprise was our public health agency’s unbelievable ignorance regarding this sickness, which was sweeping Europe in epidemic fashion. Every day the newspapers were filled with telegraphic information on the spread of the illness, on its spread through the Old World, but our public health agency remained unaware of it all and let ships that had departed from questionable ports arrive in Brazil without any sanitary prevention measures. The cases of the naval squadron and the medical mission eventually were reported and only then did the apathy of the Public Health bureaucracy come to an end!
Source: Two women recalling events from their childhood during 1918 and 1919 in New Zealand, excerpt from a radio show, 1967.
[First Speaker]: Mother would come home and she would boil up and make the most beautiful vegetable and meat soups, and then I would take them in thermos flasks to people who were too ill to perhaps warm their own food. And I wasn’t allowed to enter the house, I just placed it on the doorstep and then went back to my pony. Most of these people were barely able to come to the door and pick up the container that was left for them.
[Second Speaker]: I was living with my sister, and she would have a fire set ready for me to light with sulfur sprinkled all over the wood. Before I mixed with the family, I went to this room, lit the fire and bent over it and inhaled some of the fumes and was also fumigated at the same time. We kept away from crowds and never took home books from libraries.
Source: C. T. Stoneham, British soldier who served in East Africa, about a British military base in Dar es Salaam in 1919, book, Africa All Over, published in England, 1934.
Native and Indian fundi*made coffins by lamplight and wondered if they themselves would occupy them. Rumors spread throughout the base that this was THE END: that a God weary of war had determined to wipe humanity off the world by means of a plaguemore fatal than man’s destructiveness.
*fundi (Swahili): a skilled craftsman
Source: American resident of British Samoa, account published in The Evening Post, a New Zealand newspaper, Wellington, 1919.
The Samoa Times admits that 8,000 of our small population in British Samoa have died, but in my own view this is probably too few. Many people insist that the deaths exceed 9,000. We had news of the approach of the influenza about a week before it arrived. The ship Talune came in with sickness raging on board. Within four days the infection was on the island of Savaii, and had spread all over. Samoans died on the roads, on the beaches, and near water holes, where they went to bathe their fevered bodies.
The disease, however, was readily kept out of American Samoa, and no one here blames the American Governor John Poyer for keeping out the boat from British Samoa by imposing five days’ isolation. Had British Samoa been similarly guarded we would have continued a safe and prosperous community.
SECTION II, Part B部分