King Cholera: What was the cause of the cholera outbreak in Soho in 1854?

Ideas about the cause of disease/What was the cause of the cholera outbreak
in Soho in 1854?

Learning Outcomes:

To identify the main beliefs in the early 19th Century about the causes
of cholera (miasma, spontaneous generation) and evaluate to what extent
these beliefs changed as a result of John Snow’s research.


* Students identify, from a range of primary sources, what was believed
to cause cholera in the early 19th Century.
* Students use an interactive map to investigate the Soho cholera outbreak
of 1854 to try to establish the cause of the outbreak.

What did people think caused Cholera?

Listen to these three recitals of advise given at the time of the second
major cholera outbreak: Extract
, Extract
, Extract
. (External links to the National Archives website).

What parts of the advise are good and which parts are bad? Share
your thoughts on this page.

at the sources on this site
. There are a number of questions on the
site for each source. Click on the links to the source material and answer
the questions.

Now go
to this page
on the National Archives website. Search the map to see
how many people died of Cholera in each area. Then answer the questions
at the foot of the page to show whhether or not it supports John Snow’s
findings. To see how the deaths occured in phases, view the interactive
map on this website

When you have completed that task, take
a look at this flash game
. In it, you have to decide whether suggestions
are good advice or bad advice – will you cure the cholera patient?

Then look
at this page
and consider the way in which infectious diseases affected
industrial towns.

What the Victorians did for us – playing god.

Watch this video to get an overview of how John Snow worked out what
the cause of the cholera outbreak at Broad Street was. For a video about
the Cholera outbreak in Manchester go to this
page of the website and select clip 4