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Audience: All audiences. Content appropriate for Grades 6-12.
Goal: Recognize the commitment, challenges, and sacrifices U.S. Army Nurses during the Spanish American War.
Women have served the U.S. Army since its founding. Women’s service was often confined to unofficial capacities as volunteer nurses, seamstresses and cooks for troops in camp. While the U.S. Army established contracts with female nurses during the Civil War those were annulled at the war’s conclusion.
In 1898, the United States declared war on Spain. In a short time, the U.S. Army grew from 28,000 Soldiers to over 300,000 men. The influx of Soldiers strained the Army’s resources and lead to crowded camps that lacked supplies and resources. Diseases spread through camps and led to the recruitment of thousands of trained female contract nurses to provide medical support. Nurses dressed wounds, carried out sanitation procedures, and prepared meals. The selfless service of Spanish American nurses forced the U.S. Army to acknowledge the women’s contributions. Three years later, the Nurses Corps was established as a permanent part of the U.S. Army.
In this History Talk, explore the contributions of U.S. Army Nurses during the Spanish American War. Learn how their commitment, challenges, and sacrifices created new professional opportunities for women both in the Army and civilian medical facilities.
Objective: At the end of this lesson students, will be able to
- Describe the reasons and results of the Spanish American War.
- Recognize women’s contributions to the U.S. Army during the Spanish American War.
- Appreciate the sacrifices, challenges, and commitment of U.S. Army Nurses during the Spanish American War.
- Understand how the Spanish American War furthered women’s professional opportunities.
How did the Spanish American War advance professional opportunities for women?
Common Core Standards
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools
United States History to 1865
USII.4 The student will apply history and social science skills to explain the changing role of the United States from the late 19th century through World War I by
- B) explaining the reasons for and results of the Spanish-American War, including the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine.
- USII.4 The student will apply history and social science skills to explain the changing role of the United States from the late 19th century through World War I by
Virginia and United States History
VUS.11 The student will apply history and social science skills to analyze the emerging role of the United States in world affairs during the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries by
- A) explaining changes in foreign policy of the United States toward Latin America and Asia and the growing influence of the United States, including, but not limited to the impact of the Spanish-American War;
- D) explaining the international significance of U.S. decisions and actions, including, but not limited to the Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, the Spanish-American War, the acquisition of Alaska and Hawaii, and the Panama Canal construction.
- VUS.11 The student will apply history and social science skills to analyze the emerging role of the United States in world affairs during the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries by
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