World History 1854 Part 3

About the history of the world in 1854, Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War, Pope Pius IX and the immaculate conception.



Nov. 5 Florence Nightingale arrived at the Barrack Hospital at Scutari in Turkey during the Crimean War. At the age of 16, she had heard the voice of God tell her that He had a mission for her. For the "Lady with the Lamp," this was nursing. After going to school in Germany, she became a nurse and the superintendent of the Institution for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in London, which she called "this little molehill." With the use of family influence, she was assigned to the Crimean War theater, in command of 24 nurses. At Scutari, she was forced to send a number of nurses home because of drunkenness and their sexual affairs with the patients. She allowed no female except herself in the wards after 8:00 P.M.

Introducing hygienic methods to hospital care, Florence Nightingale saved thousands of lives and founded the modern profession of nursing.

Dec. 8 Pope Pius IX declared the dogma of the immaculate Conception. An already widely held belief, it states that the Virgin Mary was freed from original sin at the instant of her conception. This papal declaration ushered in the doctrine of papal infallibility--that the pope when speaking in the official capacity of the supreme leader of Christianity cannot err in defining dogmas of faith, morals, and rites.

Dec. 9 Poet Laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson immortalized the blunder of the Battle of Balaklava with his poem "Charge of the Light Brigade," presenting as the motto of military thinking: "Theirs not to make reply, / Theirs not to reason why, / Theirs but to do and die." He completely ignored the 93rd Highlanders, who had won the epithet "the thin red line" by stopping the initial Russian advance, and the 800 man Heavy Brigade, which had charged and routed 3,000 attacking Russian cavalry. Instead Tennyson wrote of the suicidal, and completely useless, advance of the Light Brigade.

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