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Weather Affecting History: 1815 Volcano

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We are all learning to appreciate the devastation that a pandemic can have on a society. Both pandemics and environmental disasters can have underappreciated lasting impacts on society. 


The eruption of Tambora produced enough debris to cover an area the size of Rhode Island in 183 feet of ash. Darkened skies and reduced global temperatures turned 1816 into “the Year without a Summer,” blighting harvests all over Europe, North America, and China. Ireland faced famine and an outbreak of typhus. Farmers fled New England, helping push Indiana and Illinois to statehood. Thomas Jefferson, driven to the brink of bankruptcy by crop failures at Monticello, had to raise money by selling his book collection to the government (replacing the Library of Congress burned in 1814). Mary Shelley, spending a gloomy summer in Switzerland, wrote Frankenstein. Even the first global cholera epidemic, originating in India in 1816, may have been tied to the eruption’s aftermath




guy also known as gaius

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  • Map of the Roman Empire