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Title: Human suffering during the Maltese insurrection of 1798
Authors: Savona-Ventura, Charles
Keywords: Mortality -- Malta -- History -- 18th century
Malta -- Social conditions -- 18th century
Malta -- History -- French occupation, 1798-1800
Issue Date: 1998
Publisher: Malta University Historical Society
Citation: Savona-Ventura, C. (1998). Human suffering during the Maltese insurrection of 1798. Storja 1998, 48-65..
Abstract: The advent of war in any country heralds a total upheaval in the social and demographic characteristics of the community through "war casualties" and changes in the reproductive patterns in the population. War and epidemics are two factors which influence population growth directly by increasing the mortality rate in the population and indirectly by influencing reproductive function. Deaths from medical causes during the war must often be considered "sick war casualties" since the adverse situation in health conditions during the conflict may be contributory to these deaths. The Maltese Islands prior to the advent of modern warfare of the twentieth century have been ravaged by a number of conflicts, an important event being the rising against the French at the turn of the nineteenth century. In 1798 Napoleon Bonaparte ousted the Knights of St. John from Malta. After only a few months, the Maltese rose against their French rulers and blockaded the garrison in the Grand Harbour fortified towns. The latter event disrupted civil life in Malta and resulted in marked changes in population structure, growth and reproductive performance. The civil strife and blockade lasted two years. Because the Maltese were poorly armed, they set out to starve the French. However the Islands were short of food and the conditions of the besiegers were little better than those of the besieged. The outcome of the struggle hinged on the food supply and the health of the two parties. Meanwhile disease and malnutrition took a toll of Maltese lives. This mortality is reflected in the population registered before and after the conflict.
Appears in Collections:Storja 1998
Storja 1998

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