The last hunger years? The 1826–1832 mortality crisis in Denmark
A newly published study examines the demographic and clinical features of 1826–1832 mortality crisis in Denmark.
From 1826 and the six years following, Denmark underwent a severe mortality crisis. The conventional understanding is that it was caused by a malaria epidemic, although recent literature has challenged this.
The paper is the result of several years' work with the archives of the Royal Board of Health, newspapers, diaries and parish registers. It demonstrates that the rising mortality in the years leading up to 1831 was the result of a series of epidemics in the autumn and that the autumn of 1831 was merely the culmination of this.
Thus, the paper exemplifies the synergetic relationship between epidemics and subsistence crises that were common before the breakthrough of the demographic transition in the 19th century.