Historical notes and reviews

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Living in the midst of miasmas: The social issue of Chile between 1880 and 1920

Viviendo entre miasmas: en torno a la cuestión social, Chile de 1880 a 1920


Introduction The social issue in Chile stems from an accumulation of social problems resulting from the migratory movements of the countryside-city and mining areas. The cities did not have the hygienic conditions necessary to receive migrants, which caused housing and health problems within the population.

Objective To analyze the problems of housing, hygiene, and health in Chile between 1880-1920.

Method We conduct a qualitative, analytical, and interpretive study using primary sources for the categories of analysis around housing, hygiene, and health of the following cities in Chile: Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción and Chillán.

Results The economic modernization led to the development of public works in the main cities of Chile, which also experienced a demographic phenomenon known as field-city migration, with urban growth never before seen. In the cities, there were problems of housing, hygiene, and health for the popular urban sectors.

Conclusion The State passed laws to regulate the conditions of the conventillos and public spaces to mitigate diseases and vices of the population.


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