The Plague: The Black Death

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The Black Death was a devastating plague that ravaged Europe from 1348-1350. It first emerged on the trade routes of the Near and Far East in the 1340’s. Before striking Europe, the Great Pestilence struck China, India, Persia, Syria, and Egypt (“Black Death”). The disease entered Europe by sea in October 1347 and spread like wildfire. The plague was a highly contagious disease. It was characterized by boils on the groin or under the armpits, fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, and aches. The disease was fast-spreading and lethal. The Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio once wrote “the mere touching of the clothes, appeared to itself to communicate the malady to the toucher” (“Black Death”). It has been estimated that approximately…show more content…
Another social effect that resulted from the plague was increased violence and debauchery. Violence was very common during this time as the disease caused great uproar and panic. One of the economic effects that resulted from the Black Death was abrupt and extreme inflation. During this time, trade was very dangerous and the costs of local and imported goods skyrocketed (“Social and Economic Effects of the Plague”). As a result of the plague, workers were highly sought after. The demand for workers was so high that it threatened the manorial holdings. Serfs benefited from the disease as they gained an increase in wages. Living conditions also improved for the peasants as they acquired more power. One of the religious effects that resulted from the plague was the Church lost many people. However, regardless of the fatalities, the Church also profited. The Church began to charge an extensive amount of money for their services (“What the Black Death was”). One of the services that had a high price tag was mass for the deceased. Religious leaders knew how contagious the plague was, and any job to do for the dead required a lump sum of money
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