• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Black Death.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

History of Europe 1000-1500 Final Paper 12/10/2003 The Black Death The Black Death was a pivotal event in human history. The plague originated in Asia, and came to Europe via trade ships in the middle of the 14th century. As it spread through Europe, it left no one unaffected by its horrors. Everyone who survived knew someone, usually many people, who had not been so lucky. The Black Death changed the whole face of Europe. The massive population loss caused by the Black Death acted as a catalyst for vast economic, political, and social change. The plague bacteria is thought to have spread from the arid plains of central Asia. Increased commercialization in Europe opened up silk routes through the steppes, and the trading posts acted as good locations for infected fleas to break out of the area. The disease probably spread from Europe to India, and then on to Italian seaports and the rest of Europe. ...read more.

Middle

The whole process, from first symptoms of fever and aches, to death, lasts only three or four days. The swiftness of the disease, the terrible pain, the grotesque appearance of the victims, all made the plague especially terrifying. There were several different strains that made up the plague of the Black Death. The most commonly known, the bubonic, could only be spread from a mixing of body fluids, and was sometimes survivable. It was spread primarily by rat fleas that drank the blood of an infested host, and then while drinking the blood of another, some infected blood was inevitably regurgitated. The pneumonic form could be spread through the air, and was therefore more common and much harder to control. It was also more deadly. Almost no one who contracted the pneumonic form survived. Cities were hit hard by the plague. Financial business was disrupted as debtors died and their creditors found themselves without recourse. Not only had the creditor died, his whole family had died with him and many of his kinsmen. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the groups that suffered the most was the Christian church. It lost prestige, spiritual authority, and leadership over the people. How? The church promised cures, treatment, and an explanation for the plague. They said it was God's will, but the reason for this awful punishment was unknown. People wanted answers, but the priests and bishops didn't have any. The clergy abandoned their Christian duties and fled. People prayed to God and begged for forgiveness. After the plague, ended angry and frustrated villagers started to revolt against the church. The survivors were also enraged at doctors, who didn't cure patients, but said they could. The Black Death was a turning point in history. After its arrival from Asia, the Black Death caused, in the span of two years, one out of every three people to die. Nothing like that has happened before or since. The numbers of population loss alone were significant in political and economic terms. During the Black Death and the immediate aftermath, Europe underwent political, social, and economic change, and emerged completely changed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Medieval History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Medieval History essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Response to Pandemic Death: The Black Death in Europe

    4 star(s)

    Fear and hysteria spread as quickly through Europe as the disease itself. The initial outbreaks of the disease were recorded in Italy in 1347(O'Sheim, Zeigler 41) and during 1348 outbreaks were recorded in nearly every country in Europe, affecting England, France, Germany, and Italy most severely (Zeigler 42,67,84 and Mullet 17).

  2. How did the martyr's body become an emblem of triumph for early Christian communities

    This meant subverting the cult was simply not going to work, in this way the martyr's uncompromising faith and absolute refusal to deny it became the ultimate symbol of dedication and triumph. As well as being a symbol of victory over oppression of Christianity the act of martyrdom was a

  1. To what degree was the Black Prince the epitome of the Age of Chivalry?

    lords may have resulted in a different outcome for the Black Prince. Instead it led to the Hundred Years' War recommencing. The Black Prince's marriage to his cousin Joan of Kent has also been questioned. We learn from Sir Thomas Grey's Scalacronica that she had been previously married twice.8 One

  2. The plague did more than just devastate the medieval population. It caused a substantial ...

    There was a severe shortage of clergy after the epidemic cycle. This resulted in a mass influx of new clergy members, most of whom did not share the life-long convictions and experiences of the veterans they replaced. The result was abuses by the clergy in the years afterwards and a

  1. Were the Crusades a shameful episode in the history of the west?

    Historians Lerner, McNall and Meacham argue that the rise, fall and enthusiasm for the crusades were related closely to the fortunes of the medieval papal monarchy.14 The Christian Church had undergone many problems over the previous few centuries such as power struggles with state rulers as well as powerful, unruly members of the clergy.

  2. Political Catalysts of the Witch Hunt in Early Modern Europe

    Of the Sects of the Modern Heretics, written in 1254, shows the Catholic resentment towards the Waldensians: [They say that] all vices and sins are in the church, and that they alone live righteously.

  1. China's political, social and economic problems

    The banking reforms have revitalized the monetarization process. "The growth rate of total domestic deposits for the period from 1979-89 is 572.7%, while the growth rate of urban and rural savings are 1743% and 251.7% respectively" (4). The Central Bank oversees the overall developments and activities of the monetary sector, maintaining economic and currency stability.

  2. To what extent did the Black Death contribute to the decline of Serfdom?

    However, it was the Black Death which gave them the means to achieve this and thus sped up a process which was already beginning to develop in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century. The arguments against the theory that the Black Death had a substantial impact on the decline

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work