Regulation of madness in England from the 17th century to the early 20th century: Part 2

Dr Lisetta Lovett

60 minutes


November 2019

Learning module

CPD domain:

Regulation of madness part 2.jpg

The 19th century was characterised by a growing reform movement which led to major statutory changes. The therapeutic energy and optimism of the reform movement was, however, eventually defeated by the excessive confinement of people who might be mildly socially deviant rather than insane.

In this module, the second in a two-part series reviewing major concepts of madness throughout history, we describe:

  • the key Acts affecting how and where the insane were confined
  • the events leading up to these Acts and their overall impact on management of the insane
  • significant Acts of the late 19th century, which acknowledged the undesirability of the large public asylums and their change of purpose from places of care to places of containment.

Finally, we review the major changes in mental health act legislation during the early part of the 20th century, which were precipitated by the First World War.


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