There are several reasons for dealing with cholera in the 19th century: it acted as a spotlight throwing into sharp relief the darkest corners of society that are seldom mentioned in the sources. We learn about everyday life in large parts of the population, especially the poor. The fight against the disease also reveals how a society worked socially and politically. When cholera arrived in Europe -- the first time was in the 1830's and several times after that--the population reacted very violently, often by lynching doctors, while the authorities more or less let matters take their course. That is why international researchers have come to see cholera as a catalyst for the constantly latent social unrest following in the train of wars and revolutions. During my research on cholera in Denmark it became clear to me that matters were different here. There were no riots, nor any signs of social unrest--neither before nor after the outbreak of cholera. On the contrary, the authorities and the population joined forces against the epidemic. There was an atmosphere of mutual trust, and almost everybody turned out to be worthy of such trust. That points to a balanced society based on consensus, so cholera also functions as a detector of the fundamental structure of a society.