Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > General History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

General History General History Forum - General history questions and discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 18th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #11
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,423

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeGlidden View Post
I think Petyo is dead on. Today, the world strives to save the weak and dying to show that humans can overcome natural science. What we are left with is an abundance of genetic defects which lead to people who would have been deemed unhealthy. Charles Darwin's ideas of survival of the fittest would have been more applicable centuries ago than it is today. Sick people died, the healthy survived.

I have nothing against people who are ill, with any number of medical issues, that's just how it is. I'm not sure if society is better for it or not.
Except back then the healthy people were only healthy until they got sick, then they were the unhealthy people, obivously.

It's apparently a very strong notion with humans that health is somehow an extension of moral superiority. Getting sick is somehow a moral failure, a sign of lack of quality. You should be able to walk it off...

I see nothing to indicate this is one of these little stories people tell themselves because it kind of indicates there's some overarching point to things happening. If it ain't God doing it, nature, or as in this case genetics, will be made to do the job...
Larrey is offline  
Remove Ads
Old November 18th, 2012, 08:26 AM   #12

BRIAN GOWER's Avatar
Glo Caled
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Posts: 2,815

My passion is genealogy and lately I discovered that my great great grandfather died of consumption aged 43 in 1844. Almost a year to the day later his daughter aged 17 also died of consumption. A few years earlier another daughter died aged under 12 months. Most offspring were dead between 50 and 60. Hard life back then which was just some hundred or more years ago.
BRIAN GOWER is offline  
Old November 18th, 2012, 08:50 AM   #13

Ancientgeezer's Avatar
Revisionist
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Posts: 4,886

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRIAN GOWER View Post
My passion is genealogy and lately I discovered that my great great grandfather died of consumption aged 43 in 1844. Almost a year to the day later his daughter aged 17 also died of consumption. A few years earlier another daughter died aged under 12 months. Most offspring were dead between 50 and 60. Hard life back then which was just some hundred or more years ago.
A snapshot of 1841

* The census taken on 6 June 1841 records the English population as 15.9m, with 2.6m Scots and 8.2m Irish bringing Britain's total to 26.7m. The figure does not include the large homeless population
* Life expectancy was 40.2 years for men, 42.2 for women. More than 70 per cent of the population were under 35. Out of every 1,000 babies, 150 died before they were one
* The most popular girls' names were Mary (1.43m) and Elizabeth (809,000); for boys it was John (1.28m) and William (1m) - a top four that remained unchanged for 50 years
* The population of London, already the largest city in the world, was 1.58m, with less than two-thirds of its inhabitants born there. Non-English arrivals commonly came from Ireland, Scotland, India, China, Poland, France and Italy * Fuelled by industrialisation, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds were also in the middle of population explosions that would see their total of inhabitants rise by more than 50 per cent from 1831 to 1851
* A British force was engaged in a disastrous occupation of Afghanistan which ended with 690 British soldiers, 2,800 Indians and 12,000 followers massacred or taken prisoner by Afghan militiamen. It was blamed on political officers making military judgements



It was, in the words of Friedrich Engels who arrived in Manchester the following year to begin the study which he published as The Condition of the Working Class in England, "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". And at what a cost. Conditions in the new factories, and in the coal mines that supplied them, were deadly.
At Bigge's Pit at Wollington, Co Durham, that year, 32 men and children died in "a melancholy explosion" which sent "a violent shock in the neighbourhood resembling what might be supposed to proceed from an earthquake". It was but one of many such industrial disasters. A contemporary account was vivid in its detail: the men's mutilated bodies "presented a sight truly appalling, so completely disfigured, so broken every bone and muscle, that coffins had to be sent down, to prevent limb falling from limb, while being conveyed up the shaft".
Such horror was beginning to press upon the conscience of the nation. In 1841 a young Charles Dickens serialised one of his more mawkish pieces of sentimentality, The Old Curiosity Shop, which tantalised the whole of the reading world with the drawn-out death of the heroine, Little Nell. "Does she live?" shouted readers from the quayside in New York to the ship delivering the next episode. It was not one of Dicken's better novels. But two years earlier he had published Oliver Twist, a book whose depiction of the evils of the workhouse was instrumental in bringing changes to the law.
In a speech not long after his 1841 election victory, Sir Robert Peel told the Commons that he was not going to stand idly by while MPs reported cases of atrocious suffering in their constituencies: "When I hear of any case of individual distress ... I am resolved to institute thereupon an immediate inquiry into all the circumstances." Not long after he strengthened the Poor Law Commission to give it power to enforce a uniform national policy. There was much else to do. That year a survey was conducted of children working in the mines, often in seams which were only 32 inches high.
The job of Fanny Drake, aged 15, was to "hurry" (push) small wagons full of coal which weighed as much as two hefty men, from the face to the shaft. She told the survey: "I work at Charlesworth's Wood Pit in Wakefield. I hurry by myself. I don't like it so well. It's cold and there is no fire in the pit. I'd rather be out of it altogether. I push with my head sometimes; it makes my head sore sometimes that I cannot bear it to be touched, it is soft too. I often have headaches and colds and coughs and sore throats." The year after, Peel banned child labour from the mines altogether.
It was on the move too. The national exodus from the countryside to the town continued but there was also mass international migration. The population of England and Wales almost doubled in the half century from 1801 and trebled by 1901. In 1841 huge numbers of people were mobile. More than three million people - of a total population of just 15.9 million in 1841 - left Britain and Ireland for America, Canada and Australia in the three decades around this time. The notion of such far-flung "kith and kin" was to influence British politics for a century to come.


As a year it was, however, to end on a sombre tone. War broke out again in Afghanistan as the local people resisted British domination. An insurrection began in Kabul where the British Army was encamped within its own racecourse and polo field. In December 1841, British officials were assassinated as the first snow flakes began to fall on the city.


The rest of the article is here 1841: A window on Victorian Britain - This Britain - UK - The Independent
Ancientgeezer is offline  
Old November 18th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #14

BRIAN GOWER's Avatar
Glo Caled
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Posts: 2,815

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ancientgeezer View Post
A snapshot of 1841

* The census taken on 6 June 1841 records the English population as 15.9m, with 2.6m Scots and 8.2m Irish bringing Britain's total to 26.7m. The figure does not include the large homeless population
* Life expectancy was 40.2 years for men, 42.2 for women. More than 70 per cent of the population were under 35. Out of every 1,000 babies, 150 died before they were one
* The most popular girls' names were Mary (1.43m) and Elizabeth (809,000); for boys it was John (1.28m) and William (1m) - a top four that remained unchanged for 50 years
* The population of London, already the largest city in the world, was 1.58m, with less than two-thirds of its inhabitants born there. Non-English arrivals commonly came from Ireland, Scotland, India, China, Poland, France and Italy * Fuelled by industrialisation, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester and Leeds were also in the middle of population explosions that would see their total of inhabitants rise by more than 50 per cent from 1831 to 1851
* A British force was engaged in a disastrous occupation of Afghanistan which ended with 690 British soldiers, 2,800 Indians and 12,000 followers massacred or taken prisoner by Afghan militiamen. It was blamed on political officers making military judgements



It was, in the words of Friedrich Engels who arrived in Manchester the following year to begin the study which he published as The Condition of the Working Class in England, "an industrial revolution, a revolution which at the same time changed the whole of civil society". And at what a cost. Conditions in the new factories, and in the coal mines that supplied them, were deadly.
At Bigge's Pit at Wollington, Co Durham, that year, 32 men and children died in "a melancholy explosion" which sent "a violent shock in the neighbourhood resembling what might be supposed to proceed from an earthquake". It was but one of many such industrial disasters. A contemporary account was vivid in its detail: the men's mutilated bodies "presented a sight truly appalling, so completely disfigured, so broken every bone and muscle, that coffins had to be sent down, to prevent limb falling from limb, while being conveyed up the shaft".
Such horror was beginning to press upon the conscience of the nation. In 1841 a young Charles Dickens serialised one of his more mawkish pieces of sentimentality, The Old Curiosity Shop, which tantalised the whole of the reading world with the drawn-out death of the heroine, Little Nell. "Does she live?" shouted readers from the quayside in New York to the ship delivering the next episode. It was not one of Dicken's better novels. But two years earlier he had published Oliver Twist, a book whose depiction of the evils of the workhouse was instrumental in bringing changes to the law.
In a speech not long after his 1841 election victory, Sir Robert Peel told the Commons that he was not going to stand idly by while MPs reported cases of atrocious suffering in their constituencies: "When I hear of any case of individual distress ... I am resolved to institute thereupon an immediate inquiry into all the circumstances." Not long after he strengthened the Poor Law Commission to give it power to enforce a uniform national policy. There was much else to do. That year a survey was conducted of children working in the mines, often in seams which were only 32 inches high.
The job of Fanny Drake, aged 15, was to "hurry" (push) small wagons full of coal which weighed as much as two hefty men, from the face to the shaft. She told the survey: "I work at Charlesworth's Wood Pit in Wakefield. I hurry by myself. I don't like it so well. It's cold and there is no fire in the pit. I'd rather be out of it altogether. I push with my head sometimes; it makes my head sore sometimes that I cannot bear it to be touched, it is soft too. I often have headaches and colds and coughs and sore throats." The year after, Peel banned child labour from the mines altogether.
It was on the move too. The national exodus from the countryside to the town continued but there was also mass international migration. The population of England and Wales almost doubled in the half century from 1801 and trebled by 1901. In 1841 huge numbers of people were mobile. More than three million people - of a total population of just 15.9 million in 1841 - left Britain and Ireland for America, Canada and Australia in the three decades around this time. The notion of such far-flung "kith and kin" was to influence British politics for a century to come.


As a year it was, however, to end on a sombre tone. War broke out again in Afghanistan as the local people resisted British domination. An insurrection began in Kabul where the British Army was encamped within its own racecourse and polo field. In December 1841, British officials were assassinated as the first snow flakes began to fall on the city.


The rest of the article is here 1841: A window on Victorian Britain - This Britain - UK - The Independent
Thank you Ancientgeezer. Fascinating. Have you traced your ancestors in that first detailed census or any others?
BRIAN GOWER is offline  
Old November 18th, 2012, 10:02 AM   #15

Ancientgeezer's Avatar
Revisionist
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Posts: 4,886

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRIAN GOWER View Post
Thank you Ancientgeezer. Fascinating. Have you traced your ancestors in that first detailed census or any others?
Before all the data went online--back in the late 1960s, I traced my Father's Paternal line back to 1724. It took months and months as I had to go through the parish records before 1821 as the census data is not very accurate (or maybe by ancestors were illiterate.) My great, great, great grandfather was born not half a mile from where I was, although I was born in a nursing home and he in a shack on the river. He was a fisherman who was lost at sea at the age of 24 leaving a wife and four children! I ran into a bit of a wall as his father had a been a "Seaman, Navy, Chatham" and there is no real parish church there with records. Now that geneology has been made a bit easier, I may take up the hobby again.
A brother of mine started tracing our maternal line, which owes it roots to the East of London and he discovered an awful lot of cousins of the type one wouldn't really want to mix with--so no invite to the Palace for me!
Ancientgeezer is offline  
Old November 18th, 2012, 02:36 PM   #16

BRIAN GOWER's Avatar
Glo Caled
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Posts: 2,815

The census records in my opinion are not very accurate, especially in west Wales where many people were monoglot Welsh up to 1901; in fact one should never take for granted the accuracy of any record or memorial although wills tend to be reliable and a source for overcoming some Brick Walls.

It must have been hard work for you but very rewarding. Ancestry.com and Findmypast.co.uk should make it much easier to revisit old records and create an online family tree which should lead to further connections. The LDS FamilySearch site is free of charge and also helpful, and recently a Historum member recommended "My Heritage Family Tree Builder" as an inexpensive site to create family trees.

I have been searching for under three years but better qualified and more experienced genealogists are in the Family History social group if you are interested.

Strangely enough most people would be delighted to find at least one raffish element in their ancestry or relatives, so consider yourself lucky!
BRIAN GOWER is offline  
Old November 19th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #17

astafjevs's Avatar
Scholar
 
Joined: Oct 2012
From: Bristol, England
Posts: 744

I'm inclined to believe that pre-industrial revolution people were fitter and much stronger than most modern people, but also far more susceptible to illness and famine. So on that basis I'll stick with being a weakling but healthy.
astafjevs is offline  
Old November 19th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #18

BRIAN GOWER's Avatar
Glo Caled
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Gwendraeth Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales.
Posts: 2,815

Quote:
Originally Posted by astafjevs View Post
I'm inclined to believe that pre-industrial revolution people were fitter and much stronger than most modern people, but also far more susceptible to illness and famine. So on that basis I'll stick with being a weakling but healthy.
People were very strong even in industrial south Wales where with little regular rural transport they would walk many miles to market several times a day - and I speak of female cockle-sellers here walking to Swansea town and Neath - to sell sea food. They must have been up from early morning until late at night. Even if you read diaries of 19th century middle class men you'll find they thought little of walking vast distances in a day which modern man would consider eccentric and exhausting; and of course those that could afford it ate vast quantities of food at a single sitting and consume not a little strong beer. Must have had the constitution of an ox but, of course, were far more vulnerable to disease than folks nowadays.

Last edited by BRIAN GOWER; November 19th, 2012 at 01:36 PM.
BRIAN GOWER is offline  
Old November 19th, 2012, 12:26 PM   #19

Belgarion's Avatar
Cynical Optimist
 
Joined: Jul 2011
From: Australia
Posts: 3,072

Two thousand years ago the normal enlistment for a Roman legionary was 25 years. This seems to indicate that life expectancy was fairly high, barring warfare, accident and disease. I also understand that during the middle ages life expectancy was greater than during the industrial revolution.
Belgarion is offline  
Old November 19th, 2012, 01:41 PM   #20

Black Dog's Avatar
Idiot of the year 2013
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: Damned England
Posts: 8,071
Blog Entries: 2

It depended when in history. In the UK, (and everywhere, just about, at that time) the Neolithic stock, as already mentioned, suffered somewhat from adopting an agrarian lifestyle. Also, their flour was rather heavily contaminated by grit from their grindstone, quern or whatever. It was only later that adjustable grindstones were invented. This rather gritty bread wore the tooth enamel quite badly, but apart from that, there was little to rot the teeth until the late 19th century, for the masses anyhow.

The peak of the English medieval population was the 11th century. And, like almost all of British history, it was a case of if one made it past 30 or 40 (and many didn't), then it was possible to live to be into one's 80's. In a local priory, there are lots of very old tombstones of people who lived to a reasonable age by anyone's standards.


Our old friend climate change caused a long series of poor or failed harvests: a warm period had ended and a colder one begun. So, when the Black Death hit, the population were often weaker and less able to resist disease than they would have been 100 years earlier.

Post Black Death, which removed something like 1/3 of the population, things actually improved for the masses: labour became an employee's market, and there was a major move away from poor or marginal farming areas (especially uplands) to more productive areas. Peasants became, often for the first time, paid in money. This was to lay the foundations of two things, one good, one bad: (a) the Yeoman farmer and prosperity of rural early modern England and (b) enclosure, caused when upland areas were increasingly turned over to sheep and cattle, and agriculture generally became more specialised. Whilst the short term effects of the latter was an improvement in English living standards, ultimately, it led to rural poverty and the growth of the towns as the growing rural unemployed went to the towns. During the Medieval Period, only 4 towns in all England had populations greater than 30,000: Norwich, London, Bristol and York.

By the late early modern period, the towns were growing considerably. This brought severe health problems which would not be resolved for hundreds of years. Firstly, sanitation. With no real understanding of what causes diseases, sewage etc polluted water supplies: a London brewery during the 17th century drew its brewing water just 100 yards or so downstream from public privies emptying straight into the river Thames. Although brewing requires prolonged boiling, nevertheless, I don't fancy the idea much.

Just a quick read of Samuel Pepys's diary shows the filthy conditions Londoners and other town dwellers, even of the wealthy, living in as a matter of course. Fleas and lice were a fact of life, as was poor sanitation, extremely poor food hygiene and stomach complaints were common. Of course, many became hardened to it, but it must have killed many, too. Plus, of course, there were regular waves of the Plague to contend with.

Life was much, much cleaner and healthier in the countryside. When the Industrial Revolution actually kicked off, the men who got rich from it made it a priority to leave the towns- mainly the source of their wealth- for the country.

Two major diseases of the 18th and 19 century were cholera and typhus. These are closely linked to bad water supplies, and the badly built and wholly inadequate housing most of the urban poor ended up in (featuring one water pump per street, unglazed sewage pipes often causing contamination, no refuse collection and bad over crowding) caused further problems. Even by the 18th century, "corporations" were set up all over England, to try to regulate water quality, and generally improve public health. Even when I was a kid, my parents and older people referred to water as "corporation pop".

From what I have seen, modern 21st century people are unhealthier in most ways than they were in the early 70's. Being overweight is a modern thing, likewise, many kids now have allergies, asthma, eczema and other affliction which were rare when I was a kid. Most of these are probably the result of their far more sedentary and indoor lifestyles: who ever heard of a farm kid with asthma in the past? Then we have other marvels of the modern age: stress being a major one, and diabetes, brought on by the colossal amount of sugar people mostly unwittingly eat. Plus heart disease (despite the stop smoking Nazis) remains THE killer, also of women now: the latter was far rarer amongst women than it is now.

I'd say that on the whole, the health trends tend to be peaks and troughs.
Black Dog is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > General History

Tags
healthy, historically


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What does History have to say about a healthy diet? Yōḥānān General History 66 October 24th, 2012 01:23 PM
Media In America (Historically) CT9 American History 12 May 13th, 2012 07:54 AM
Who was Li Naomasa and why is he historically significant? lokariototal Asian History 13 March 6th, 2011 06:01 PM
if henry viii and katherine of aragon had a healthy son.. kbear Speculative History 17 November 6th, 2010 03:49 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.