How and why was the 1875 Public Health Act an improvement on 1848?
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How and why was the 1875 Public Health Act an improvement on 1848? This essay will argue that the 1875 Public Health Act made a great improvement to general health in Great Britain. Due to the notorious disease known as Cholera in 1848, Public Health Services decided that it would be for the better to set up boards of Health to areas which were in favour of this new Act. The General Board of Health was constructed boasting experienced members such as Chadwick, Shaftesbury and Lord Morpeth. This Board stated that if the death rate reached twenty three out of one thousand people in any town or city, then that town or city was led into compulsory improvements of the area. Also, the area could opt to have this treatment on their local area. When the area was put under this treatment, the local council (assuming there was one) would take on the "powers" of the Local Board of Health. The powers patrolled and cleaned previous problems such as sewage, drainage, roads, slaughter-houses, lodging-houses, water supplies, parks and cemeteries.
This result was far too sudden for the Public Health Act to have any affect on. The General Board of Health did everything it could to help, but once again, opposition prevented this Act going any further. Even after the Cholera epidemic was over, there was still opposition. This opposition came from local councils refusing to set up Local Boards of Health, or even if they agreed to set up a Board of Health, the councils would still refuse to pay any money. Any new improvement has always cost money, making the rates rise. People began to hate having to go to court every time they wanted to have a dung heap removed from their area. Not a lot of people obeyed the 1848 Act because it cost so much money to enrol in, and people's pleasures were being destroyed by the Board, for example, people liked to keep pigs in their yard, but the Board disallowed any form of animal to be on the grounds. Many things irritated people, thus, not wanting to enrol. The Public Health Act 1875 was an improvement on the 1848 Act.
Sanitary inspectors were appointed and a medical governor of health was appointed also. The government's powers to improve the towns and cities had grown since the last Act and now the government had unbelievable power over what went on in these areas health-wise. With these powers the government laid sewers and drains, built reservoirs, parks, swimming pools and other public conveniences. The larger cities had to look far away to get their fresh water supplies, so Manchester set up a reservoir in the Lake District. Liverpool created a reservoir in Wales (this formed Lake Vyrnwy) and by 1881 almost everywhere had a fresh water supply. This Act was more successful than it's predecessors because nobody actually had the power to oppose anymore, which was far better as no more protestors could make a stand, although any working man could put a point across to the local government, which also greatly appealed to the population as they finally had the rights to have a say in the current affairs. This was far greater than its predecessors (especially the 1848 Act) as people were given the right to say what they wanted, but at the same time were extremely limited in having any say of the Health Acts once the government had finalised this.
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