How important was the role played by Edwin Chadwick in improving public health services in the C19th?

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How important was the role played by Edwin Chadwick in improving public health services in the C19th?

Edwin Chadwick was important in improving public health as his work illustrated the problems, such as pollution from factories and a lack of clean water, associated with the majority of towns in the Industrial revolution. However, his impact was not the only factor that had influence on public health; other individuals, the government and public attitudes were also significant in changing the public health services throughout the C19th.
Chadwick’s first major impact was his 1842 ‘Report on the Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Population’, in which he showed that the poor were living in dirty, overcrowded areas which caused a huge
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Governments at that time were extremely careful to avoid any potential increase in taxes as it would result in them eventually losing votes and losing power. However, from 1867 onwards, working men gained the right to vote. This led to governments having to balance public health reforms with any tax increases, as now they had to appeal to both the wealthy and the not so wealthy. Through the 1870s and 1880s, more laws were passed to improve the conditions in towns, one of which was the 1875 Public Health Act.
The Public Health Act of 1975 was much more effective than the one made in 1848. Unlike the previous Health Act, this one actually made it compulsory for towns to make some changes to conditions, instead of just making suggestions. Sewers and drains were improved, fresh water supplies were provided and Medical Officers and sanitary inspectors were appointed. The Act also saw that the standards of housing were improved, the pollution of rivers was stopped and factory working hours were shortened. All of these reforms were incredibly important as they led to a high standard of living in towns, and an overall healthier population.
By 1900, people were generally living longer, healthier lives. Life expectancy had increased for both men and women, and towns were cleaner and safer. Although Chadwick was certainly important in initiating these changes, he was limited by the failure of the 1848 Health Act, his attitude

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