By Ken De Bevoise
As waves of epidemic disorder 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 optimum through the interval 1883-1903. In brokers of Apocalypse, Ken De Bevoise exhibits that these "mourning years" resulted from a conjunction of demographic, monetary, technological, cultural, and political approaches that have been development for hundreds of years. the tale is certainly one of accidental results, fraught with tragic irony.De Bevoise makes use of the Philippine case research to discover the level to which people perform growing their epidemics. reading the archival list with conceptual information from the overall healthiness sciences, he units tropical ailment in a old framework that perspectives humans as interacting with, instead of performing inside of, their overall setting. The complexity of cause-effect and agency-structure relationships is thereby highlighted. Readers from fields as varied as Spanish, American, and Philippine historical past, scientific anthropology, colonialism, diplomacy, Asian reviews, and ecology will reap the benefits of De Bevoise's insights into the interdynamics of old tactics that attach people and their illnesses.
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Extra resources for Agents of Apocalypse: Epidemic Disease in the Colonial Philippines
The Ilocanos and Ibanags, two of the three linguistic groups that the Spaniards encountered upon arrival in far northern Luzon, eventually accepted foreign domination and over the years relinquished much of their own culture to assimilate that of the conquerer. “In the process, they became more and more like each other and less and less like their ancestors. ” One result of this transformation was that when groups like the Isnegs seemed to impede progress in the nineteenth century, their differences invited merciless treatment by Spaniard and Christianized Filipino alike.
The “preoccupation with 28 C H A P T E R 1 developing the archipelago’s resources,” as Antonio F. García Gonzales describes it, seems to have begun formally with a proposal in 1730 by the Marqués de Villadarias, though others applied for commercial licenses during that decade without effect. ” Pedro Murillo Velarde predicted a year or two later that strong governmental support in the form of a chartered company would initiate a cycle of prosperity. Once regional shipping capability was established, agricultural estates, textile factories, and extraction of raw materials would follow as a matter of course.
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. What we do not know is how much of the rapid population growth thereafter was attributable to lower mortality (and from what causes) and how much to a higher birth rate. It may be that the latter factor was signiﬁcant. The government had met its wartime need for labor and supplies by letting cabezas de barangay (local chieftains) force the people who could not meet polo or vandala obligations into debt peonage.
Agents of Apocalypse: Epidemic Disease in the Colonial Philippines by Ken De Bevoise