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Reproducing the British CaribbeanSex, Gender, and Population Politics after Slavery$
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Juanita De Barros

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781469616056

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469616056.001.0001

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Population Anxieties and Infant Mortality

Population Anxieties and Infant Mortality

(p.40) chapter two Population Anxieties and Infant Mortality
Reproducing the British Caribbean

Juanita De Barros

University of North Carolina Press

In the years after the end of slavery, declining populations due to high death rates, especially among the very young, sparked deep concerns. Disease causation and infant mortality were blamed on former slaves. In Guyana, Jamaica, and Barbados, investigations into the causes of infant mortality highlighted the need for healthy populations, resulting in the introduction of infant and maternal welfare initiatives in the early twentieth century. This chapter examines the debates about the health and size of populations, much of which was centred on the problem of infant mortality, in Britain's Caribbean colonies during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It looks at the emergence of a range of new ideas about medicine and public health, together with immigration, designed to ensure the population growth needed to sustain the colonial economies.

Keywords:   infant mortality, slaves, Jamaica, Britain, Caribbean, colonies, medicine, public health, immigration, population growth

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