Epidemics, Empire, and Environments: Cholera in Madras and Quebec City, 1818-1910

Epidemics, Empire, and Environments: Cholera in Madras and Quebec City, 1818-1910

by Michael Zeheter

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Throughout the nineteenth century, cholera was a global scourge against human populations. Practitioners had little success in mitigating the symptoms of the disease, and its causes were bitterly disputed. What experts did agree on was that the environment played a crucial role in the sites where outbreaks occurred. In this book, Michael Zeheter offers a probing case study of the environmental changes made to fight cholera in two markedly different British colonies: Madras in India and Quebec City in Canada.
The colonial state in Quebec aimed to emulate British precedent and develop similar institutions that allowed authorities to prevent cholera by imposing quarantines and controlling the disease through comprehensive change to the urban environment and sanitary improvements. In Madras, however, the provincial government sought to exploit the colony for profit and was reluctant to commit its resources to measures against cholera that would alienate the city’s inhabitants. It was only in 1857, after concern rose in Britain over the health of its troops in India, that a civilizing mission of sanitary improvement was begun. As Zeheter shows, complex political and economic factors came to bear on the reshaping of each colony's environment and the urgency placed on disease control.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822981046
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 02/05/2016
Series: Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michael Zeheter is a research associate and lecturer in the department of history at the University of Trier.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments Introduction: Cholera and the Colonial State in Urban Environments Part I. First Encounters 1. Strategies of Treatment: Madras, 1818–1833 2. Strategies of Control: Quebec City, 1832–1834 Part II. Integrating Sanitation 3. Frequent Visitations: Quebec City, 1840–1854 4. The Advent of Sanitarianism: Madras, 1840–1857 5. Sanitary Consensus at Last: Madras, 1858–1883 Part III. Bacteriology and the Promise of Clarity 6. Finding the Comma Bacillus: Bacteriology in Madras and Quebec City, 1865–1910 Conclusion: The Colonial State and the Elusive Consensus Regarding Cholera Notes Bibliography Index

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