1720-1740 : The widespread availability of cheap gin caused a period of very high mortality. This was ended by the introduction of a ‘gin tax’.
1770 : Dispensary movement began in cities. London was largely free from major epidemics of infectious diseases. ‘The plague’ had receded in the C17th and cholera only became more severe once the Empire was extended.
1800–1850 : The Industrial Revolution is in full-flow. Living and working conditions for many were very poor. The high population density caused diseases to spread more rapidly. Atmospheric pollution and dirty and dangerous jobs kept death rates high.
Some significant improvements were also made during this time.
1914-1918 : World War I – large numbers of young males are serving in the military.
1929-1933 : The effects of the Great Depression were felt in the UK. Affecting much of the world, this economic downturn led to instability. Unemployment had doubled by 1930. People living in poverty put off having children.