Event—Tour

Thomas Andrews, University of Colorado

The Great Epizootic of 1872: Animals, Capitalism, and Catastrophe in North America

The Great Epizootic of 1872: Animals, Capitalism, and Catastrophe in North America

In fall 1872, a virulent disease spread from Canada to the Northeastern United States. By the following spring, the so-called "epizootic" had afflicted horses, mules, and other creatures throughout North America and the Caribbean. Though the disease-later identified as a form of influenza-rarely proved fatal, it nonetheless contributed to the economic modernization of the U.S. by reinforcing new understandings of epidemiology and prompting new concerns about industrial capitalism's deep and ongoing dependence on animal power.