Quarantine and British ‘protection’ of the Ionian Islands, 1815–64
in Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914
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This chapter provides a case study of the use of the lazaretto as an instrument of colonial rule in the British Protectorate of the Ionian Islands. The British, notwithstanding their metropolitan anti-contagionist discourse, consolidated the quarantine system – inherited from the Venetians – not only for public health, but also to strengthen their presence in society as well as to facilitate their shipping, commerce and naval power. Through this essay, the authors unearth the connections between public health institutions – especially quarantine – medical theory and power politics. Focus is also put on the contrasting experiences and perceptions of travellers passing through quarantine as well as on the challenges faced by contraband, the inflow of Greek refugees, but also by the popular resistance of the Ionians who came to associate this institution with British colonialism.

Mediterranean Quarantines, 1750–1914

Space, identity and power

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