This essay will argue that the 1875 Public Health Act made a great improvement to general health in Great Britain. Due to the notorious disease known as Cholera in 1848, Public Health Services decided that it would be for the better to set up boards of Health to areas which were in favour of this new Act. The General Board of Health was constructed boasting experienced members such as Chadwick, Shaftesbury and Lord Morpeth. This Board stated that if the death rate reached twenty three out of one thousand people in any town or city, then that town or city was led into compulsory improvements of the area.
Also, the area could opt to have this treatment on their local area. When the area was put under this treatment, the local council (assuming there was one) would take on the "powers" of the Local Board of Health. The powers patrolled and cleaned previous problems such as sewage, drainage, roads, slaughter-houses, lodging-houses, water supplies, parks and cemeteries. This Board of Health also insisted that every new household should have at least one private toilet or privy.
The older houses were all connected to a drain or cesspit so that all of the waste could be disposed of in a more hygienic manner, rather than throwing the waste out of their window, most probably landing on somebody on the way down, and then possibly hoping that the waste would slowly run down to the local cesspit at the end of every street of houses. Now, the inhabitants could merely send their waste directly to the local cesspit, thus, a lot less people got covered in the waste (which was one of the key causes of Cholera), and a lot less (if any) waste was running through the middle of the streets.
Although the old houses and new houses were being upgraded, in the new houses, the Board of Health then required that no house was to have a cellar (where people would probably end up living in). These cellar houses provided very poor conditions for the inhabitants as they were living very near to where the waste fell through the ground. However, the 1848-1849 Act's Cholera epidemic ended up worse than the last Cholera epidemic as now 53 000 people died.
This result was far too sudden for the Public Health Act to have any affect on. The General Board of Health did everything it could to help, but once again, opposition prevented this Act going any further. Even after the Cholera epidemic was over, there was still opposition. This opposition came from local councils refusing to set up Local Boards of Health, or even if they agreed to set up a Board of Health, the councils would still refuse to pay any money. Any new improvement has always cost money, making the rates rise.
People began to hate having to go to court every time they wanted to have a dung heap removed from their area. Not a lot of people obeyed the 1848 Act because it cost so much money to enrol in, and people's pleasures were being destroyed by the Board, for example, people liked to keep pigs in their yard, but the Board disallowed any form of animal to be on the grounds. Many things irritated people, thus, not wanting to enrol. The Public Health Act 1875 was an improvement on the 1848 Act.
This was no longer an optional Act, and nobody had any say in what happened apart from the government. Now, this Act of cleanliness in towns and cities was compulsory. This Act made a great improvement as it linked the similarity between germs and disease, and I was proven too. The Reform Act 1867 gave working men the ability to vote in towns. Therefore, politicians had to listen to these views on what the working men had to say. When the Cholera epidemic rates of death were read, now only 20 000 people had died due to Cholera - this was a big improvement.
In 1869 a Royal Commission was set up on Public Health - this Act showed that conditions in towns and cities were actually as poor as Chadwick had reported. In 1871 a Local Government Board was set up, which supervised the control of local health. Finally, in 1875 the Public Health Act had been passed, however it only brought together about 30 previous Acts of health but was still very good. It was very good because it was not "permissive" but it was very strict and the rules had to be followed. Sanitary inspectors were appointed and a medical governor of health was appointed also.
The government's powers to improve the towns and cities had grown since the last Act and now the government had unbelievable power over what went on in these areas health-wise. With these powers the government laid sewers and drains, built reservoirs, parks, swimming pools and other public conveniences. The larger cities had to look far away to get their fresh water supplies, so Manchester set up a reservoir in the Lake District. Liverpool created a reservoir in Wales (this formed Lake Vyrnwy) and by 1881 almost everywhere had a fresh water supply.
This Act was more successful than it's predecessors because nobody actually had the power to oppose anymore, which was far better as no more protestors could make a stand, although any working man could put a point across to the local government, which also greatly appealed to the population as they finally had the rights to have a say in the current affairs. This was far greater than its predecessors (especially the 1848 Act) as people were given the right to say what they wanted, but at the same time were extremely limited in having any say of the Health Acts once the government had finalised this.