Mennonites, community and disease: Mennonite diaspora and responses to the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in Hanover, Manitoba
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In the fall of 1918, the First World War was drawing to a close. In the midst of Canada’s first major foray into war since Confederation, another threat became more obvious; influenza. Spanish influenza affected millions of people worldwide from 1918 to 1920 and the Canadian population was not immune to such an outbreak. This thesis uses a Mennonite population and locale, the RM of Hanover, Manitoba, as the focus for a study of influenza. In Hanover, the influenza death rate in 1918 was 13.5 deaths per 1000; double the national Canadian average of 6.1. This thesis examines how structures of healthcare networks in rural communities and tensions between provincial and federal authorities, and the Mennonite population at the end of the First World War contributed to the higher death rate amongst this ethnic group. Influenza in Hanover was a shared experience of influenza amongst a North American Mennonite diaspora.