Cause And Effect Of Tambora

1200 Words5 Pages
This year marks the 202nd anniversary of the eruption of Mount Tambora. Many have never heard of this explosion, but Tambora had massive historical effects. Let’s explore what this explosion was and how it impacted culture in the 1800’s. Mount Tambora erupted on the Island of Sumbawa on April 5th in 1815. It was recorded as “the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history” (Britannica). The effect of this massive eruption traveled far beyond the small Indonesian island. It impacted multiple and incredibly diverse aspects of society across Asia, Europe and North America. It affected art, literature, transportation, climate, economies, health, opium production and even American religion.
The volcano had been dormant for hundreds of years and this violent explosion lasted days, sending ash into the atmosphere (D'arcy Wood). At the time, there were both native villagers living in the area and British officers, as the area was a colony under the British crown. Most of the surviving records of the explosion come from these British officers, some of whom didn’t actually witness the explosion but heard it and assumed the explosion was from rebels on the island. A captain of a nearby East India Company ship reported ash falling out of the sky and “By noon, the light that had remained in the eastern part of the horizon disappeared, and complete darkness had covered the face of day” (D'arcy Wood). At the time of the explosion another British subject, Sir Thomas Raffles, was the governor of Java, Indonesia. His compiled record of first hand accounts confirming the blackened sky and falling ash (Skulls). Similar accounts of darkness were recorded throughout the region, which was due to the sheer volume of ash that was released by the volcano. The ash-blackened sky was not the only impact of the eruption. The more far reaching effects of the eruption would not be felt until the summer of 1816, when the eruption gasses and particles so affected worldwide meteorological patterns that the western world called 1816 “The Year Without a Summer”.
It is hard to imagine that the eruption of distant Mount Tambora inspired and influenced the work of many artists and yet is was clearly evident in art and literature across the
Get Access