Laurinda Abreu
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Epidemics, quarantine and state control in Portugal, 1750–1805
in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
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This chapter argues that the setting up of cordon sanitaires in Portugal from the mid-eighteenth to the early years of the nineteenth century, formed part of a strategy by the Crown which employed public health institutions to consolidate its power over society and protect the national territory. Epidemics were therefore managed for political purposes by the government, and the political class, as happened in 1756 and 1800. The study shows how the threat of yellow fever in 1800 that led to the establishment of a military cordon sanitaire was actually a measure to protect the land frontier against an eventual armed invasion from Spain. This contrasts with the quarantine imposed in 1804 which was genuinely set up to combat the yellow fever epidemic, thus marking a new phase in the history of quarantine in Portugal.

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Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

Space, identity and power


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