Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Cholera and 19th Century European Politics

Check out this New York Times Archive article concerning the political reaction to Cholera in Italy and France during the late 19th century. This article was published in August of 1884 during the midst of the 1881-1896 Cholera pandemic that began in Europe. This article highlights the lack of knowledge that was still present in the late 1800's concerning Cholera and disease in general. These dominantly Catholic countries' reliance on religious figures for help may have only prolonged the pandemic as a focus on higher standards of sanitation may have been made a secondary concern.

1 comment:

John Latto said...

That's a great article. The idea that people could 'frighten themselves into an attack of cholera' is something I've come across before and must have seemed fairly plausible with the rising hysteria as an epidemic took off.

We will talk briefly about the effect of disease on the church in the third week when we talk about bubonic plague.