Smallpox

Name ID 859

See also

Koponen, Juhani Population: A Dependent Variable
Extract Date: 1890's

Famine and smallpox

The catastrophes of the 1890s began with the great Rinderpest panzootic in 1890. Spreading southward from the Horn of Africa, Rinderpest swept over the country like bushfire, killing cattle and game. The estimate first put forward by the German lieutenant, who said that 90 per cent of Tanganyika’s cattle and half of its wild animals perished from Rinderpest, may well be roughly accurate.

Famine and Smallpox followed [the Rinderpest], especially among peoples who depended on cattle. While the endemicity of Smallpox was no doubt maintained by caravan traffic, which had grown up with the establishment of colonialism, another factor also involved in the Smallpox epidemics of the 1890s was the increased mobility of people who were searching for food and security. The pastoral Maasai, of whom perhaps two-thirds died, suffered the worst. Northwestern Tanzania was also hit by Smallpox, particularly Karagwe. In the mid-1890s German doctors claimed that ‘every second’ African had a pock-marked face.

Extract ID: 960
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