During the 18th century there was a quickening in economic activity in the western world. Historians call this the time of the Industrial Revolution. The process continued during the 19th century, with an even greater quickening of invention and scientific discovery.
Huge progress was made in identifying and preventing many diseases. People felt that humankind was becoming god-like in its knowledge and achievements, and that nothing was impossible except the cure of infectious disease - a problem that continued to cause much misery.
Some knowledge of 19th-century civilisation will help you understand 19th-century medicine.
Developments in the 19th-century included:
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