railroad and disease

1272 Words3 Pages

The adoption of the rail system in the United States not only revolutionized the transportation of people, goods, and information but also revolutionized the transportation of pathogens. The rapid growth in transportation, the cramped living spaces, travel arrangements and poorly organized sanitation protocols exacerbated the rampant spread of disease. The lacking public health policies of the time showed that the United States was not ready for the silent killers that would accompany passengers as they rode the rails. The United States government was forced to find a way to deal with the spread of disease through out the nation’s railways. The railroad played a major role in forging the history of many countries including the United States of America. The railroad began to bring people to places that before then where only accessed by weeks of dangerous travel over harsh and deadly terrain. The industrial revolution had ushered in a completely new era. The new era was one of mass production, supply and demand, and new requirements of industry. The growth of industry had created new demands for transit, trade, and more robust supply lines. The railroad boom across the U.S. had spread and proceeded to grow the economy quickly therefore, many people began using the rail roads just as quickly. The rail market continued to grow and by the 1860’s all major cities within the United States were connected by rail. The main diseases that showed the most virulence during the time were cholera, yellow fever and consumption now known as tuberculosis. The 9th census mortality data showed that 1 out 7 deaths from disease were caused by tuberculosis and 1 out of 24 disease deaths were resulting from cholera. . Until the 1870s... ... middle of paper ... ...f American Civilization. University of Chicago Press, 2008. United States. Surgeon-General's, Office, J. K. Barnes, J. M. Woodworth, E. McClellan, J. C. Peters, J. S. Billings, President United States, and Service United States. Public Health. The Cholera Epidemic of 1873 in the United States. 43d Cong., 2d Sess. House. Ex. Doc. 95. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1875. Walker, Francis Amasa, U. S. Congress. House, U. S. Census Office, and U. S. Department of the Interior. "Ninth Census -- Volume Ii. The Vital Statistics of the United States, Embracing the Tables of Deaths, Births, Sex, and Age, to Which Are Added the Statistics of the Blind, the Deaf and Dumb, the Insane, and the Idiotic, Compiled from the Original Returns of the Ninth Census (June 1, 1870) under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior, by Francis A. Walker, Superintendent of Census." 1872.

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