[The ailing colony and the health of the people: the medicine of the Enlightenment and information about the infirmities in Portugal's American colonies].

Núcleo de Estudos Históricos e Territoriais, Universidade do Vale do Rio Doce, Governador Valadares, Brasil.
História Ciências Saúde-Manguinhos 09/2007; 14(3):761-78.
Source: PubMed


The progress in medicinal knowledge about the human body and the ways of treating different ailments did not just affect individuals. As of the Enlightenment, medicine started to pay ever greater attention to the 'health of the people'. The knowledge derived from new medical theories started to be put at the State's service, bringing about greater efficiency in reducing epidemics and high death rates. This article seeks to examine the significance of these changes in medicine for the Portuguese State, investigating their impact on the colonies, based on the issue of ailments suffered by blacks and the establishment of information about the ailments suffered in Portugal's colonies in the Americas.

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