Bubonic Plague Dbq Essay

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The Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black death is a disease that ravaged Europe in the 14th century. The disease seemed incurable and spread like wildfire. The effects were devastating as roughly one third of Europe’s population is thought to have been lost along with countless Jewish people as the subject of blame. The origin of the Bubonic Plague was Central Asia but it made its way to Europe through trade ships. Fleas, the source of the disease, were on the rats carried over by these ships. The first instance of disease in Europe occured in Italy in 1348 and the disease did not begin to fade until 1351. So what made the plague so devastating in the time between when it reached Italy in 1348 and when it began die out around 1351? The Black …show more content…

The Plague was a seemingly incurable wave of death that masked whole cities in an extremely short time. While the plague was first seen in Italy in the spring of 1348, the plague had already spread to England by the end of that same year, and had reached as far as modern day Russia by 1350 according to the map in Document 1. Bicarrio gave a vivid description of the plague and its quick spread as it entered florence when he wrote “ it destroyed countless lives, scarcely resting in one place before it moved to the next, and turning westward its strength grew monstrously” (Document 2). The spread of the disease was likely accelerated by the Europeans lack of immune strength against the disease and the living conditions in Europe. Another key point to mention about the spread of the plague are the various forms. There are three common forms of the plague: The Bubonic,spread by direct flea bites, the Septimic, in which the bacteria directly enter the bloodstream, and the Pneumonic, in which the virus is inhaled into the lungs. The three branches of the disease gave it the versatility to spread faster and become even more …show more content…

As seen in the chart of Document 8, thirty percent of the population was lost on average in all major regions of Europe. This begs the question: did they have no defense against the disease? The answer is no. The Europeans were not use to the disease as it originated in Asia. There was likely no European whose immune system could fend off the foreign disease thus increasing the likelihood of death from contracting the disease severely. The living conditions of the time were also unfavorable. With people living so close together, one outbreak of the plague left the whole town at risk. Also, the lack of hygiene in Europe during this time did not slow the disease down any. As Bicarrio said about the Plagues symptoms “To cure these infirmities neither the advice of physicians nor the power of medicine appeared to have any value or profit” (Document 2). This point by Bicarrio is the thought of the common man of the time, and is one of shear horror as he recalls the plagues ravaging effects on Florence. The medical advancement of the time were simply underwhelming and almost nonexistent when it came to the plague. Having large visible symptoms the plague seemed to send a message to its occupant that there was a short time left. Large swellings or bulbous showed up in the groin and armpits about the size of a softball and eventually spread to other parts of the body. The appearance of these

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