changing society

the invention of machines meant there was less work for people in the country side

towns and cities rapidly grew in population

these changes had an impact on the people's health

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causes of disease

between 1750-1850 people came to believe strongly in a rational scientific explanation for disease

they thought disease was caused by

miasma, 'bad air'

and spontaneous generation, that decaying matter produced germs.

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the problems

poor quality housing- little ventilation, damp rooms

overcrowding- more than one family living in a house

little fresh food in big towns and cities

drinking water was polluted by cities

long working hours

poor working conditions- factories had little ventilation, and often damp

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killer diseases

thousands of people were killed by infectious diseases

  • cholera
  • typhoid
  • tuberculosis
  • smallpox
  • diphtheria

these were often caused by contaminated water supply and earily spread in poor living conditions

cholera was particularly frightening- it spread quickily and 2/3 of those who caught it died

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treatments for cholera included

burning dead people's clothes and bedding

pray and carrying lucky charms

house cleaning using chloride of lime

smoking cigars

burning tar, and vinegar to create smoke on the streets

liquid or pills that were supposed to cure all illnesses.

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