By Sean M. Quinlan
This booklet reports how medical professionals spoke back to - and assisted in shaping - deep-seated fears approximately apprehensive degeneracy and inhabitants decline in France among 1750 and 1850. It uncovers a wealthy and far-ranging scientific debate within which 4 generations of hygiene activists used biomedical technology to rework the self, sexuality and neighborhood so one can regenerate a ill and decaying kingdom; a programme medical professionals labelled 'physical and ethical hygiene'. furthermore, it really is proven how medical professionals imparted biomedical rules and language that allowed lay humans to make experience of usually bewildering socio-political adjustments, thereby giving them a feeling of business enterprise and regulate over those events.Combining a chronological and thematic technique, the six chapters during this publication hint how medical professionals started their clinical campaign in the course of the heart of the Enlightenment, how this activism flowered through the French Revolution, and the way they then revised their perspectives in the course of the interval of post-revolutionary response. The research concludes via arguing that drugs got unheard of political, social and cultural place in French society, with medical professionals turning into the first spokesmen for bourgeois values, and therefore helped to outline the hot global that emerged from the post-revolutionary interval.
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Extra resources for The great nation in decline: sex, modernity and health crises in revolutionary France c.1750-1850
17 SRM 185, d. 3, Noudeau, ‘Réflexions sur l’utilité des frictions sêches dans les maladies nerveuses, avec observation’, 12 May 1787. 18 SRM 200, d. 1, Rossignolly, ‘Mémoire sur les maladies nerveuses proprement dittes [sic]’, 7 Mar. 1786. -A. Tissot, Traité des nerfs et leurs maladies (5 vols, Paris and Lausanne, 1778), vol. 1, pp. iii–iv. 20 Michel Foucault, Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique (Paris, 1972), pp. 382–83. 24 THE GREAT NATION IN DECLINE and was extensively engaged in mid-century medical and philosophic concerns.
Skin colour provided another sign of beauty; few doctors and naturalists believed, Vandermonde said, that black Africans were more beautiful than white Europeans. Above all, the beautiful body was a healthy body and it thus needed good bones, muscles and nerves. He concluded: It is therefore [the body itself] that we must perfect. We must renew the corrupted source of our humors and spirits. We must repair our organs and change, fortify, and meliorate all the forces of our machine. -L. de Buffon.
22 See especially Matthew Ramsey, Professional and Popular Medicine in France: The Social World of Medical Practice (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 17–70; Toby Gelfand, Professionalizing Modern Medicine: Paris Surgeons and Medicial Science and Institutions in the Eighteenth Century (Westport, 1980), pp. 67–79; and Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 15–40. -E. Gilibert, L’anarchie médicale, ou la médecine considérée comme nuisible à la société (3 vols, Neuchâtel, 1772).
The great nation in decline: sex, modernity and health crises in revolutionary France c.1750-1850 by Sean M. Quinlan