By Ken De Bevoise
As waves of epidemic ailment swept the Philippines within the overdue 19th century, a few colonial physicians started to worry that the indigenous inhabitants will be burnt up. Many Filipinos interpreted the contagions as a harbinger of the Biblical Apocalypse. although the direct forebodings went unfulfilled, Philippine morbidity and mortality charges have been the world's maximum in the course of the interval 1883-1903. In brokers of Apocalypse, Ken De Bevoise indicates that these "mourning years" resulted from a conjunction of demographic, fiscal, technological, cultural, and political techniques that have been development for hundreds of years. the tale is one in all unintentional outcomes, fraught with tragic irony.De Bevoise makes use of the Philippine case examine to discover the level to which people perform developing their epidemics. reading the archival checklist with conceptual assistance from the healthiness sciences, he units tropical sickness in a historic framework that perspectives humans as interacting with, instead of appearing inside of, their overall atmosphere. The complexity of cause-effect and agency-structure relationships is thereby highlighted. Readers from fields as varied as Spanish, American, and Philippine historical past, clinical anthropology, colonialism, diplomacy, Asian reviews, and ecology will make the most of De Bevoise's insights into the interdynamics of old strategies that attach people and their illnesses.
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Extra resources for Agents of Apocalypse: Epidemic Disease in the Colonial Philippines
He links the apparent demographic loss not only to warfare but to the general seventeenth-century crisis, whose repercussions were felt in Southeast Asia as well. 13 Contemporary observers described the hardships of paciﬁcation, external war, polos and vandalas, and Moro raids but left no measurements of changes in precipitation, diet, or morbidity and mortality from disease. It will never be possible to reconstruct what happened with any certainty, but it is at least clear that the overall Philippine demographic downturn ended about the time the war did.
39 Developing the public wealth meant opening new land. The Philippine frontier should not be imagined as a straight line dividing the country between settled and unsettled territories and moving inexorably forward. It is more accurate to speak of Philippine frontiers that ran at haphazard angles, opening and closing at different times in different places. ” The best-documented examples of the frontier process are from Luzon’s central plain and Negros, areas that became “developed,” but it is well to bear in mind Cruikshank’s observation that most of the archipelago developed at a slower and less revolutionary pace.
Even in “friendly towns” many of the common people were so poor that they destroyed their houses and hid in the hills for a few months rather than pay. 9 Administrative convenience, the imperatives of Christianization, and Spanish notions of civilization required a concentration of the population in the base villages so as to bring everyone “under the bells” of the church. That process of consolidation continued without abatement or complete success for more than three centuries. Ongoing resistance by Filipinos to leaving their ﬁelds and accepting “a way of life that was either unknown to them or which in the past had not pleased them” forced church and state to compromise.