Cholera Epidemic (125 words)

Historical Context Note

  • Editors


The water-borne disease of cholera swept across the world in several pandemics in the mid-nineteenth century. Although it had been endemic to the Ganges delta for thousands of years, it was the globalisation of the early nineteenth century that caused its spread across the world into pandemic proportions. In 1849, it hit Ireland especially hard, affecting a population already seriously weakened by the Potato Famine. It also spread to Liverpool, the port at which many Irish and British emigrants gathered, as well as the east coast port of Hull. It was not until five years later, in 1854, that John Snow's identification of the Broad Street pump as a source of the spread of cholera gave an impetus to efforts to improve water sources and …

Editors. "Cholera Epidemic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 28 October 2016.]