British Military and Naval Medicine, 1600-1830 (Clio Medica) by Geoffrey L. Hudson

By Geoffrey L. Hudson

Status armies and navies introduced with them army clinical institutions, transferring the point of interest of sickness administration from contributors to teams. Prevention, self-discipline, and surveillance produced effects, and occupation possibilities for physicians and surgeons. a lot of these advancements had an impression on drugs and society, and have been in flip prompted via them. The essays inside of research those phenomena, exploring the imperial context, nursing and drugs in Britain, naval medication, in addition to the connection among drugs, the country and society. British army and Naval Medicine demanding situations the inspiration that army drugs used to be, in all respects, 'a stable thing'. The so-called monopoly of army drugs and the authoritarian buildings in the army have been advanced and, now and then, effectively contested. occasionally alterations have been imposed that can not be characterized as advancements. British army and Naval Medicine additionally issues to possibilities for extra study during this fascinating box of research.

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64 Servicemen, though, remained the principal subjects of experimentation, for they were at the same time coerced, plentiful, and the intended beneficiaries of any improvements. Indeed, from at least the 1750s, there existed an expectation on the part of innovators that new, speculative, remedies for unresolved disease problems deserved to be accorded experimental trial at sea on ships’ companies. 66 Early practitioners of overseas medicine were frequently involved, formally or informally, in experimentation, for they worked in relative seclusion from the medical elites, amidst morbidity or mortality crises, where the focus was upon the effective recovery of the military unit, not the survival of the individual serviceman.

To observe that it was state-centred is an understatement. The literature was overwhelmingly focused upon the requirements of the state, conceptualised within a fairly narrow understanding of war and defence, with scant attention devoted prior to 1800 to the broader themes of imperial commerce, immigration, or population vitality. The tone of the literature was white. 94 Transported Africans, on the other hand, moved merely from one hot, moist climate to another, and could be expected to adapt with relative ease.

Rodger, The Wooden World: An Anatomy of the Georgian Navy (London: Fontana, 1988), 145–82; Adams and Waters, op. cit. (note 3), 419–53. A. Wrigley and R. S. Schofield, The Population History of England, 1541–1871: A Reconstruction (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1981), 220 and passim; R. Davis, The Rise of the English Shipping Industry in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries (Newton Abbot: David and Charles, 1962), 114–16. For contemporary recognition of this fact, see H. Warren, A Treatise Concerning the Malignant Fever in Barbados, and the Neighbouring Islands: With an Account of the Seasons There, from the Year 1734 to 1738 (London, 1741), 19–20, 73.

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