Medical humanitarianism and smallpox inoculation in eighteenth-century Guatemala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

«Medizinischer Humanitarismus und Pockenimpfung in Guatemala des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts». This article analyzes the introduction of smallpox inoculation in 1780 to the Audiencia of Guatemala, an area that roughly encompassed what is today modern Central America and the Mexican state of Chiapas. This first inoculation campaign was led by a modernizing sector of Guatemala's colonial elite, who considered it their moral responsibility to apply the new medical innovations of the era to cure and prevent disease among Guatemala's inhabitants, including the majority indigenous Maya population. Guatemala's first smallpox inoculation campaign provides an important case study for analyzing how discourses of health and moral responsibility towards Indians and other colonized peoples changed during the Enlightenment once an effective preventive therapy against smallpox began to be employed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-317
Number of pages15
JournalHistorical Social Research
Volume37
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

Fingerprint

humanitarianism
Guatemala
eighteenth century
campaign
responsibility
Central America
inhabitant
elite
Inoculation
Humanitarianism
Smallpox
innovation
Disease
discourse
health

Keywords

  • Central America
  • Colonial medicine
  • Guatemala
  • Humanitarianism
  • Inoculation
  • Maya Indians
  • Public health
  • Smallpox

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Medical humanitarianism and smallpox inoculation in eighteenth-century Guatemala. / Few, Martha B.

In: Historical Social Research, Vol. 37, No. 3, 2012, p. 303-317.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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