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The Field and the ForgePopulation, Production, and Power in the Pre-industrial West$
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John Landers

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199279579

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.001.0001

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The Cost of War: Mortality and Population Loss

The Cost of War: Mortality and Population Loss

Chapter:
(p.334) Chapter Fourteen The Cost of War: Mortality and Population Loss
Source:
The Field and the Forge
Author(s):

John Landers (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199279579.003.0014

War imposed economic costs through the destruction of resources and their diversion to non-productive ends, and demographic costs in the form of relative or absolute population losses due to forced emigration, increased mortality, and lower fertility. A table of total wartime troop losses shows an overall decline in mortality from the earlier to later parts of the period, and the long-term importance of disease as a cause of wartime death and the dramatic decline in its toll after 1900. Warfare could trigger civilian mortality crises among civilians, but these could also result from the presence or movement of troops through a region without any actual fighting. Substantial mortality, even under conditions of major food shortage, required the outbreak of epidemic disease. The effects of war on mortality can be a series of concentric circles spreading outward from the battlefield itself to civilian society in regions beyond the war zone.

Keywords:   economic costs, demographic costs, mortality, epidemic disease, wartime death, food shortage, battlefield

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