Intercepting infection: Quarantine, the Port Sanitary Authority and immigration in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain

Maglen, Krista (2001) Intercepting infection: Quarantine, the Port Sanitary Authority and immigration in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Britain. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis is an investigation into infectious disease prevention in British ports in the latter part of the nineteenth century and the introduction of medical restrictions to immigration at the beginning of the twentieth century. It examines the processes which led from the imposition of human quarantine toward the implementation of sanitary inspection at British ports. Central to this development was the influence of international pressures and demands and their incorporation into British domestic port policy. These pressures and demands resulted from the differing systems of prophylaxis and related medical theories favoured by other European imperial powers. They were discussed at the numerous International Sanitary Conferences of the nineteenth century and related particularly to shipping and commerce. British use of quarantine for the prevention of the 'exotic' diseases, cholera, yellow fever, and plague was brought to an end with the repeal of the Quarantine Act in 1896. However, exclusionary methods were not banished from the ports but remained in place for the prevention of diseases introduced by foreign migrants. The prevention of disease among immigrants, as a distinct process in port health, increased during and after the cholera epidemic of 1892, and was largely a reaction to American port health measures. Immigration restriction appeared to contradict the general opposition to exclusionary prophylaxis at British ports. However, the fundamental difference between the exclusion of immigrants who were regarded as a potential health risk and the temporary exclusion of a vessel through quarantine, was that the detention of an immigrant vessel, and exclusion of immigrants, was not disruptive to trade.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Advisers: Anne Crowther; Marguerite Dupree
Keywords: European history, Public administration
Date of Award: 2001
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2001-72127
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 May 2019 12:53
Last Modified: 17 May 2019 12:53
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72127

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